Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants

Global Water Microbiome Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are essential for water purification to protect public and environmental health. However, the diversity of microorganisms and the factors that control it are poorly understood. Using a systematic global-sampling effort, we analysed the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from ~1,200 activated sludge samples taken from 269 WWTPs in 23 countries on 6 continents. Our analyses revealed that the global activated sludge bacterial communities contain ~1 billion bacterial phylotypes with a Poisson lognormal diversity distribution. Despite this high diversity, activated sludge has a small, global core bacterial community (n = 28 operational taxonomic units) that is strongly linked to activated sludge performance. Meta-analyses with global datasets associate the activated sludge microbiomes most closely to freshwater populations. In contrast to macroorganism diversity, activated sludge bacterial communities show no latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, their spatial turnover is scale-dependent and appears to be largely driven by stochastic processes (dispersal and drift), although deterministic factors (temperature and organic input) are also important. Our findings enhance our mechanistic understanding of the global diversity and biogeography of activated sludge bacterial communities within a theoretical ecology framework and have important implications for microbial ecology and wastewater treatment processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1195
Number of pages13
JournalNature microbiology
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

Fingerprint

Waste Water
Sewage
Ecology
16S Ribosomal RNA
Stochastic Processes
Environmental Health
Water Purification
Microbiota
Fresh Water
rRNA Genes
Meta-Analysis
Public Health
Temperature
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Global Water Microbiome Consortium. / Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants. In: Nature microbiology. 2019 ; Vol. 4, No. 7. pp. 1183-1195.
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Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants. / Global Water Microbiome Consortium.

In: Nature microbiology, Vol. 4, No. 7, 01.07.2019, p. 1183-1195.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants

AU - Global Water Microbiome Consortium

AU - Wu, Linwei

AU - Ning, Daliang

AU - Zhang, Bing

AU - Li, Yong

AU - Zhang, Ping

AU - Shan, Xiaoyu

AU - Zhang, Qiuting

AU - Brown, Mathew

AU - Li, Zhenxin

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AU - Wells, George F.

AU - Yang, Yunfeng

AU - Deng, Ye

AU - Tu, Qichao

AU - Wang, Aijie

AU - Zhang, Tong

AU - He, Zhili

AU - Keller, Jurg

AU - Nielsen, Per H.

AU - Alvarez, Pedro J.J.

AU - Criddle, Craig S.

AU - Wagner, Michael

AU - Tiedje, James M.

AU - He, Qiang

AU - Curtis, Thomas P.

AU - Stahl, David A.

AU - Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

AU - Rittmann, Bruce E.

AU - Wen, Xianghua

AU - Zhou, Jizhong

AU - Acevedo, Dany

AU - Agullo-Barcelo, Miriam

AU - Andersen, Gary L.

AU - de Araujo, Juliana Calabria

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AU - Bond, Philip

AU - Bott, Charles B.

AU - Bovio, Patricia

AU - Brewster, Rebecca K.

AU - Bux, Faizal

AU - Cabezas, Angela

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AU - Frigon, Dominic

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