Bacterial assembly in the bio-cake of membrane bioreactors: Stochastic vs. deterministic processes.

08:00 EDT 3rd April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Bacterial assembly in the bio-cake of membrane bioreactors: Stochastic vs. deterministic processes."

Much about assembly processes dictating bio-cake microbiota remains uncertain, leading to poor understanding of membrane biofouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs). This work aimed to reveal the underlying mechanisms driving bio-cake community during the biofouling process under different flux conditions. On the basis of 16S rRNA sequences, the results showed that bacterial diversity decreased with increasing fouling. Additionally, low-flux bio-cake (8 LMH) communities harbored much lower diversity than high-flux (16 LMH) bio-cake microbiomes. Ecological null model analyses and phylogenetic molecular ecological networks (pMENs) revealed that environmental filtering deterministically governed low-flux bio-cake communities. In contrast, high-flux bio-cake communities were mainly shaped in a stochastic manner. This is likely due to the higher stochastic deposition of bacterial taxa from bulk sludge because of the presence of a stronger drag force. Moreover, by lowering the flux, the interactions between bacterial lineages were enhanced; this is evidenced by the greater number of links, the higher average degree, and the higher average clustering coefficients within the pMENs in low-flux bio-cakes than those in high-flux bio-cakes. Most keystone fouling-related taxa in low-flux bio-cakes were motile and involved in nitrate reduction and polysaccharide/protein metabolism. This corroborated the important role of environmental filtering in the assembly process dictating low-flux bio-cake formation. Some low-abundance taxa were observed to be key fouling-related bacteria under both flux conditions, indicating that a few populations play paramount ecological roles in triggering biofouling. In summary, our findings clearly indicate distinct bio-cake community assembly patterns under different operational conditions and highlight the importance of developing specialized strategies for fouling control in individual MBR systems.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Water research
ISSN: 1879-2448
Pages: 535-545


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