Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 15, pp 6713–6723 | Cite as

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

  • Ali NejidatEmail author
  • Damiana Diaz-Reck
  • Nedal Massalha
  • Adi Arbiv
  • Anwar Dawas
  • Carlos Dosoretz
  • Isam Sabbah
Environmental biotechnology


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.


Anammox abundance Anammox diversity Mainstream wastewater 



The authors thank Prof. Zeev Ronen for his help in performing the N-isotopes experiments.

Funding information

This research was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space of the State of Israel (grant no. 3-11871).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9126_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (618 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 618 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Nejidat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Damiana Diaz-Reck
    • 1
  • Nedal Massalha
    • 2
  • Adi Arbiv
    • 1
  • Anwar Dawas
    • 3
  • Carlos Dosoretz
    • 3
  • Isam Sabbah
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Hydrology and Microbiology, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevMidreshet Ben-GurionIsrael
  2. 2.The Galilee Society Institute of Applied ResearchShefa-AmrIsrael
  3. 3.Division of Environmental, Water and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTechnion - Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  4. 4.Prof. Ephraim Katzir, Department of Biotechnology EngineeringBraude CollegeKarmielIsrael

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