Defining microbial community composition and seasonal variation in a sewage treatment plant in India using a down-flow hanging sponge reactor
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The characteristics of the microbial community in a practical-scale down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) reactor, high in organic matter and sulfate ion concentration, and the seasonal variation of the microbial community composition were investigated. Microorganisms related to sulfur oxidation and reduction (2–27%), as well as Leucobacter (7.50%), were abundant in the reactor. Anaerobic bacteria (27–38% in the first layer) were also in abundance and were found to contribute to the removal of organic matter from the sewage in the reactor. By comparing the Simpson index, the abundance-based coverage estimator (ACE) index, and the species composition of the microbial community across seasons (summer/dry, summer/rainy, autumn/dry, and winter/dry), the microbial community was found to change in composition only during the winter season. In addition to the estimation of seasonal variation, the difference in the microbial community composition along the axes of the DHS reactor was investigated for the first time. Although the abundance of each bacterial species differed along both axes of the reactor, the change of the community composition in the reactor was found to be greater along the vertical axis than the horizontal axis of the DHS reactor.
KeywordsDHS (down-flow hanging sponge) Microbial community composition Sewage treatment Developing country
We are grateful to the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD); Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF); the Indian government; and Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam (UPJN) for extending various forms of assistance. We also thank Mr. A. Noori and Mr. P. Sjati for contributing to the experiments in India.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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