Salinity-driven heterogeneity toward anammox distribution and growth kinetics

  • Zhuoying Wu
  • Han Meng
  • Xiaowu Huang
  • Qian Wang
  • Wen-Hsing Chen
  • Ji-Dong Gu
  • Po-Heng LeeEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has been widely applied for biological nitrogen removal in freshwater systems, and there is a potential for its extension in saline water systems. In this study, the abundance and biodiversity of anammox bacteria were investigated in both saline and freshwater full-scale sewage treatment plants (STPs). The anammox bacteria were widely found in four tested STPs with abundance of 105–107 copies per mL of 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic results showed that Ca. Scalindua and Ca. Brocadia dominated in saline and freshwater STPs, respectively. Ca. Kuenenia dominated in one of freshwater STPs. However, redundancy discriminate analysis (RDA) indicates the distribution of Ca. Kuenenia in both saline and freshwater conditions. To further elucidate these observations, the Monod model was integrated with Gauss equation for the evaluation of salinity-induced kinetics. Model results reveal that when nitrite concentration (SNO2) is higher than nitrite affinity constant (KNO2), salinity (over ~ 3.0%) is responsible for Candidatus Scalindua dominance over Candidatus Kuenenia. Conversely, in nitrite-depleted conditions (KNO2 ≥ SNO2), high nitrite affinity leads to the predominance of Ca. Scalindua in all salinities. This study provides fundamental insights into saline anammox applications.


Anammox Salinity Ca. Scalindua Ca. Kuenenia Kinetic modeling 



This study received funds from the Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (15273316), Collaborative Research Fund (C7044-14G), Theme-based Fund (T21-711/16-R), and grant (1-ZVJU) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animal rights and informed consent

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

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9521_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (252 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 252 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology and Toxicology, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamChina
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringNational Ilan UniversityYilanTaiwan

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