Environmental biology

A bioaugmentation failure caused by phage infection and weak biofilmformation ability

FU Songzhe , FAN Hongxia , LIU Shuangjiang , LIU Ying , LIU Zhipei


Received September 27, 2008,Revised January 07, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1153-1161

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Two biological aerated filters (BAF) were setup for ammonia removal treatment of the circulation water in a marine aquaculture. One of the BAFs was bioaugmented with a heterotrophic nitrifying bacterium, Lutimonas sp. H10, where the ammonia removal was not improved and the massive inoculation was even followed by a nitrification breakdown from day 9 to 18. The nitrification was remained stable in control BAF operated under the same conditions. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with rRNA-targeted probes and cultivable method revealed that Lutimonas sp. H10 almost disappeared from the bioaugomented BAF within 3 d, and this was mainly due to the infection of a specific phage as revealed by flask experiment, plaque assay and transmission electron observation. Analyses of 16S rRNA gene libraries showed that bacterial groups from two reactors evolved di erently and an overgrowth of protozoa was observed in the bioaugmented BAF. Therefore, phage infection and poor biofilm forming ability of the inoculated strain are the main reasons for bioaugmentation failure. In addition, grazing by protozoa of the bacteria might be the reason for the nitrification breakdown in bioaugmented BAF during day 9–18.

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