Candidatus Monilibacter spp., common bulking filaments in activated sludge, are members of Cluster III Defluviicoccus Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Two alphaproteobacterial Neisser negative 'Nostocoida limicola' morphotypes differing slightly in their trichome diameter and filament regularity were dominant populations in the Bendigo, Victoria, Australia activated sludge community removing phosphorus (P). Neither responded to the FISH probes available for any of the other alphaproteobacterial 'N. limicola' morphotypes. Instead both fluoresced with the DF988 FISH probe designed originally to target alphaproteobacterial cluster II Defluviicoccus tetrad forming organisms. A 16S rRNA based clone library from this biomass revealed that the alphaproteobacterial clones grouped closely with Candidatus 'Monilibacter batavus' and Defluviicoccus clones in a cluster separate from the existing cluster I and II Defluviicoccus. When a FISH probe was designed against these, it only hybridized to the thinner and less abundant 'N. limicola' morphotype. Micromanipulation-RT-PCR was used to selectively recover the main 'N. limicola' morphotype and a FISH probe designed against the 16S rRNA clones generated from it showed only this filament fluoresced. From FISH based surveys, both 'N. limicola' variants occurred frequently in phosphorus removal activated sludge systems in Australia treating domestic waste. The data suggest that they represent two new strains of Candidatus 'Monilibacter', which on this evidence are filamentous members of the genus Defluviicoccus, a potential competitor for the polyphosphate accumulating organisms in these communities.

authors

publication date

  • October 2009