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Title: Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants

Abstract

Microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are essential for water purification to protect public and environmental health. However, the diversity of microorganisms and the factors that control it are poorly understood. Using a systematic global-sampling effort, we analysed the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from ~1,200 activated sludge samples taken from 269 WWTPs in 23 countries on 6 continents. Our analyses revealed that the global activated sludge bacterial communities contain ~1 billion bacterial phylotypes with a Poisson lognormal diversity distribution. Despite this high diversity, activated sludge has a small, global core bacterial community ( n = 28 operational taxonomic units) that is strongly linked to activated sludge performance. Meta-analyses with global datasets associate the activated sludge microbiomes most closely to freshwater populations. In contrast to macroorganism diversity, activated sludge bacterial communities show no latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, their spatial turnover is scale-dependent and appears to be largely driven by stochastic processes (dispersal and drift), although deterministic factors (temperature and organic input) are also important. Finally, our findings enhance our mechanistic understanding of the global diversity and biogeography of activated sludge bacterial communities within a theoretical ecology framework and have important implications for microbial ecology and wastewater treatment processes.

Authors:
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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Contributing Org.:
[Global Water Microbiome Consortium]
OSTI Identifier:
1572025
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC02-05CH11231]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Microbiology
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 7]; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-5276
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Wu, Linwei, Ning, Daliang, Zhang, Bing, Li, Yong, Zhang, Ping, Shan, Xiaoyu, Zhang, Qiuting, Brown, Mathew Robert, Li, Zhenxin, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Ling, Fangqiong, Xiao, Naijia, Zhang, Ya, Vierheilig, Julia, Wells, George F., Yang, Yunfeng, Deng, Ye, Tu, Qichao, Wang, Aijie, Zhang, Tong, He, Zhili, Keller, Jurg, Nielsen, Per H., Alvarez, Pedro J. J., Criddle, Craig S., Wagner, Michael, Tiedje, James M., He, Qiang, Curtis, Thomas P., Stahl, David A., Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa, Rittmann, Bruce E., Wen, Xianghua, and Zhou, Jizhong. Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0426-5.
Wu, Linwei, Ning, Daliang, Zhang, Bing, Li, Yong, Zhang, Ping, Shan, Xiaoyu, Zhang, Qiuting, Brown, Mathew Robert, Li, Zhenxin, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Ling, Fangqiong, Xiao, Naijia, Zhang, Ya, Vierheilig, Julia, Wells, George F., Yang, Yunfeng, Deng, Ye, Tu, Qichao, Wang, Aijie, Zhang, Tong, He, Zhili, Keller, Jurg, Nielsen, Per H., Alvarez, Pedro J. J., Criddle, Craig S., Wagner, Michael, Tiedje, James M., He, Qiang, Curtis, Thomas P., Stahl, David A., Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa, Rittmann, Bruce E., Wen, Xianghua, & Zhou, Jizhong. Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants. United States. doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0426-5.
Wu, Linwei, Ning, Daliang, Zhang, Bing, Li, Yong, Zhang, Ping, Shan, Xiaoyu, Zhang, Qiuting, Brown, Mathew Robert, Li, Zhenxin, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Ling, Fangqiong, Xiao, Naijia, Zhang, Ya, Vierheilig, Julia, Wells, George F., Yang, Yunfeng, Deng, Ye, Tu, Qichao, Wang, Aijie, Zhang, Tong, He, Zhili, Keller, Jurg, Nielsen, Per H., Alvarez, Pedro J. J., Criddle, Craig S., Wagner, Michael, Tiedje, James M., He, Qiang, Curtis, Thomas P., Stahl, David A., Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa, Rittmann, Bruce E., Wen, Xianghua, and Zhou, Jizhong. Mon . "Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants". United States. doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0426-5.
@article{osti_1572025,
title = {Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants},
author = {Wu, Linwei and Ning, Daliang and Zhang, Bing and Li, Yong and Zhang, Ping and Shan, Xiaoyu and Zhang, Qiuting and Brown, Mathew Robert and Li, Zhenxin and Van Nostrand, Joy D. and Ling, Fangqiong and Xiao, Naijia and Zhang, Ya and Vierheilig, Julia and Wells, George F. and Yang, Yunfeng and Deng, Ye and Tu, Qichao and Wang, Aijie and Zhang, Tong and He, Zhili and Keller, Jurg and Nielsen, Per H. and Alvarez, Pedro J. J. and Criddle, Craig S. and Wagner, Michael and Tiedje, James M. and He, Qiang and Curtis, Thomas P. and Stahl, David A. and Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa and Rittmann, Bruce E. and Wen, Xianghua and Zhou, Jizhong},
abstractNote = {Microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are essential for water purification to protect public and environmental health. However, the diversity of microorganisms and the factors that control it are poorly understood. Using a systematic global-sampling effort, we analysed the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences from ~1,200 activated sludge samples taken from 269 WWTPs in 23 countries on 6 continents. Our analyses revealed that the global activated sludge bacterial communities contain ~1 billion bacterial phylotypes with a Poisson lognormal diversity distribution. Despite this high diversity, activated sludge has a small, global core bacterial community (n = 28 operational taxonomic units) that is strongly linked to activated sludge performance. Meta-analyses with global datasets associate the activated sludge microbiomes most closely to freshwater populations. In contrast to macroorganism diversity, activated sludge bacterial communities show no latitudinal gradient. Furthermore, their spatial turnover is scale-dependent and appears to be largely driven by stochastic processes (dispersal and drift), although deterministic factors (temperature and organic input) are also important. Finally, our findings enhance our mechanistic understanding of the global diversity and biogeography of activated sludge bacterial communities within a theoretical ecology framework and have important implications for microbial ecology and wastewater treatment processes.},
doi = {10.1038/s41564-019-0426-5},
journal = {Nature Microbiology},
number = [7],
volume = [4],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {5}
}

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