Abundance and diversity of anammox bacteria in a mainstream municipal wastewater treatment plant

Ali Nejidat, Damiana Diaz-Reck, Nedal Massalha, Adi Arbiv, Anwar Dawas, Carlos Dosoretz, Isam Sabbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Among the factors that obstruct the application of anammox-based technology for nitrogen removal from mainstream municipal wastewater is the water’s high organic loads. We hypothesized that some anammox species can adapt and grow in mainstream wastewater in which a minimal temperature of 13–15 °C is maintained. Using the AMX368F and AMX820R PCR-primers, anammox bacteria were detected in influent wastewater (COD/N ratio > 13) and in the anaerobic, anoxic, and aerobic chambers of a full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plant, reaching 107 copies/g VSS of the16S rRNA gene. Furthermore, anammox activity was demonstrated by 15N-isotopic tracing. The DNA sequences of clones randomly selected from a clone library were mainly clustered with Candidatus Brocadia flugida in addition to Ca. Brocadia sinica, Ca. Jettenia asiatica, and Ca. Anammoxoglobus propionicus. However, Ca. Brocadia was the only genus detected by high-throughput next-generation sequencing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The nitrite producers, ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria, were both detected in the influent wastewater and the other chambers, while the nitrite consumers, Nitrospira nitrite oxidizers and the nirS-type denitrifiers, dominated all chambers. The results indicate the occurrence and potential activity of anammox bacteria in mainstream wastewater under certain conditions (proper temperature). The dominance of Brocadia flugida and Anammoxoglobus propionicus suggests a role for volatile fatty acids in selecting the anammox community in wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6713-6723
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Anammox abundance
  • Anammox diversity
  • Mainstream wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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