Differential utilisation of dissolved organic matter compound fractions by different biofilter microbial communities

Marta Vignola, Jeanine Lenselink, Dominic Quinn, Umer Zeeshan Ijaz, Ryan Pereira, William T. Sloan, Stephanie Connelly, Graeme Moore, Caroline Gauchotte-Lindsay, Cindy J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a complex mixture of carbon-based compounds present in natural aquatic systems, which significantly affects drinking water treatment processes. Biofiltration, utilising biologically active beds of porous medium, offers a low-energy and low-chemical solution for controlling bioavailable DOM. However, the impact of microbial community composition on DOM degradation in biofilters remains poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the abilities of microbial communities from the top, middle, and bottom (TOP, MID, and BOT) of a biofilter to process DOM. We showed varying growth rates on the DOM, with bottom community exhibiting the highest cell abundance at the end of the experiment (1.83 × 106 ± 9 × 103; 2.06 × 106 ± 1 × 104; 2.15 × 106 ± 7 × 103 cells/mL for the TOP, MID, and BOT, respectively). The three communities showed different preferences for utilising specific DOM fractions, with the bottom community targeting more complex ones. The microbial communities from the bottom of the biofilter had a higher relative abundance of the Curvibacter genus, suggesting it could play a crucial role in degrading complex DOM fractions. These findings highlight the influence of microbial community composition on DOM degradation in biofilters, providing valuable insights for optimising their performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1851
Number of pages15
JournalAQUA - Water Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Society
Volume72
Issue number10
Early online date8 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • LC-OCD
  • biofiltration
  • community assembly
  • dissolved organic matter
  • microbial degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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