Short Term Effects of Carbon and Inoculum Sources on Filamentous Growth: A Comparison between Molecular and Microscopic Methods

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Title: Short Term Effects of Carbon and Inoculum Sources on Filamentous Growth: A Comparison between Molecular and Microscopic Methods
Author: Gulez, Gamze
Advisors: Francis de los Reyes, Committee Chair
Abstract: Filamentous bulking in activated sludge treatment plants is a worldwide problem. Understanding the growth requirements of specific filamentous organisms will allow the development of better control strategies for bulking. In this study, the short term effects of eight carbon sources and three inoculum sources on the growth of filamentous bacteria were tested. Three lab scale sequencing batch reactors (SBR) were operated. Microscopic (Gram and Neisser staining) and molecular methods (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis [DGGE], Fluorescent in Situ Hybridization [FISH]) were used to track the microbial population changes in the reactors. Sludge volume index (SVI) measurements were used to monitor bulking in the reactors. DGGE and sequencing results indicated the presence of the filamentous bacteria Sphaerotilus natans and Thiothrix. S. natans grew in glucose-, acetate-, and sucrose-fed reactors, regardless of the inoculum source. It also grew in propionate- and pyruvate-fed reactors inoculated with the sludge from the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Thiothrix was detected in propionate- and pyruvate-fed reactors inoculated with sludge from the South Cary WWTP, and in glucose- and acetate-fed inoculated with the sludge from the Neuse River WWTP inoculated reactors. In addition to these two filaments, Gram and Neisser staining indicated the presence of Nostocoida limicola in Neuse River WWTP inoculated reactors. The presence of S. natans and T. nivea was confirmed with FISH. SVI measurements were consistent with the level of bulking, showing an increase as the number of filaments in the reactors increased. This study confirmed that readily biodegradable substrates favored the growth of S. natans, T. nivea and, N. limicola in activated sludge. The simultaneous use of microscopic and molecular tools provided the information above with one method compensating for the other method's biases.
Date: 2005-08-17
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2766


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