Survival strategies of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in a full-scale WWTP treating mixed landfill leachate containing copper ions and operating at low-intensity of aeration

Yuchun Yang, Craig W. Herbold, Man Young Jung, Wei Qin, Mingwei Cai, Huan Du, Jih Gaw Lin, Xiaoyan Li, Meng Li*, Ji Dong Gu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies indicate that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) may play an important role in nitrogen removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). However, our knowledge of the mechanisms employed by AOA for growth and survival in full-scale WWTPs is still limited. Here, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses combined with a laboratory cultivation experiment revealed that three active AOAs (WS9, WS192, and WS208) belonging to family Nitrososphaeraceae were active in the deep oxidation ditch (DOD) of a full-scale WWTP treating landfill leachate, which is configured with three continuous aerobic-anoxic (OA) modules with low-intensity aeration (≤ 1.5 mg/L). AOA coexisted with AOB and complete ammonia oxidizers (Comammox), while the ammonia-oxidizing microbial (AOM) community was unexpectedly dominated by the novel AOA strain WS9. The low aeration, long retention time, and relatively high inputs of ammonium and copper might be responsible for the survival of AOA over AOB and Comammox, while the dominance of WS9, specifically may be enhanced by substrate preference and uniquely encoded retention strategies. The urease-negative WS9 is specifically adapted for ammonia acquisition as evidenced by the high expression of an ammonium transporter, whereas two metabolically versatile urease-positive AOA strains (WS192 and WS208) can likely supplement ammonia needs with urea. This study provides important information for the survival and application of the eutrophic Nitrososphaeraceae AOA and advances our understanding of archaea-dominated ammonia oxidation in a full-scale wastewater treatment system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116798
JournalWater Research
Volume191
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Ammonia-oxidation
  • Copper ions
  • Deep oxidation ditch
  • Landfill leachate
  • Low aeration
  • Nitrososphaeraceae AOA

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