Environmental biology

Isolation and characterization of facultative mixotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria from constructed wetlands

Soulwène Kouki , Neila Saidi , Fadhel M'hiri , Houda Nasr , Hanène Cherif , Hadda Ouzari , Abdennaceur Hassen


Received November 12, 2010,Revised January 04, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1699-1708

Autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) have been widely studied in constructed wetlands systems, while mixotrophic AOB have been less thoroughly examined. Heterotrophic bacteria were isolated from wastewater and rhizospheres of macrophytes of constructed wetlands, and then cultivated in a mixotrophic medium containing ammonium and acetic acid. A molecular characterization was accomplished using ITS-PCR amplification, and phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. Results showed the presence of 35 bacteria, among 400 initially heterotrophic isolates, that were able to remove ammonia. These 35 isolates were classified into 10 genetically different groups based on ITS pattern. Then, a collection of 10 isolates were selected because of their relatively high ammonia removal efficiencies (ARE ≥ 80%) and their phylogenetic diversity. In conditions of mixotrophy, these strains were shown to be able to grow (increase of optical density OD660 during incubation with assimilation of nitrogen into cellular biomass) and to oxidize ammonia (important ammonia oxidation efficiencies, AOE between 79% and 87%). Among these facultative mixotrophic AOB, four isolates were genetically related to Firmicutes (Bacillus and Exiguobacterium), three isolates were affiliated to Actinobacteria (Arthrobacter) and three other isolates were associated with Proteobacteria (Pseudomonas, Ochrobactrum and Bordetella).

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