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Bacterial Community Structure in Anaerobic Digesters of a Full Scale Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant ‒ Case Study of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2019, pp 385-398
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d6.0222
Munawwar A. Khan1 , Noorun N. Ashar2, Arpitha G. Ganesh1, Naushad Rais2, Sultan M. Faheem2, Shams T. Khan3
1 Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, P.O. Box: 19282, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, Dubai International Academic City, P.O. Box: 345050, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
3 Department of Agricultural Microbiology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh 2002002, India


A highly complex microbial community involved in anaerobic sludge digesters plays vital roles in sludge treatment. The data on microbial ecology is important to accomplish efficient operation of the anaerobic digesters. This study is aimed at monitoring the bacterial community of three full-scale anaerobic digesters of a full-scale municipal wastewater treatment Plant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization technique was applied to identify the bacterial groups and quantitative polymerase chain reaction to compare the richness of bacterial and archaeal domain. Results of the fluorescent in-situ hybridization technique analysis showed that the phylum proteobacteriawas most abundant followed by cytophage-Flavobacterium group of Bacteroides, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Among proteobacterial subclass Delta- and Alpha- were dominating than Gamma- and Beta-proteobacteria. The genus Desulfobacter and Desulfobacterium were the dominant groups hybridizing 70-76% of total 4’, 6’‒ diamidino – 2 phenylindole stained cells. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction results showed that Bacterial domain was dominating in all three digesters compared to the Archaeal domain.

Keywords: Anaerobic digester, Bacterial community, Fluorescence in situ hybridization, Oligonucleotide probes, Quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

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