Characterization of microbial community in granular sludge treating brewery wastewater

Wen Tso Liu, On Chim Chan, Herbert H.P. Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The diversity and distribution of microbes within brewery-degrading anaerobic sludge granules were studied using various molecular techniques. Molecular cloning of small-subunit rRNA gene sequences indicated that all archaeal clones were affiliated with Methanosaeta concillii (>99% sequence similarity), and the bacterial clones were mostly affiliated with a not-yet-cultured Clostridium cluster (48 out of 99 clones) in the low G+C gram-positive group, Xanthomonas spp. in the γ-subclass of Proteobacteria (30 clones), and Desulfovibrio spp. (16 clones) in the δ-subclass of Proteobacteria. Slot-blot hybridization indicated that archaeal cells from the Methanomicrobiales (58.4% of total rRNA), Methanobacterials (3.3%) and Methanococcales (1.0%) accounted for 62.4% of the total community rRNA. The rest of the microbial populations were the clostridial cluster (27.3% of total rRNA) and Desulfovibrio spp. (9.4%). Fluorescence in-situ hybridization with domain and group-specific oligonucleotide probes further revealed a multi-layer granular architecture. On the surface layer, the hydrolytic clostridial species and hydrogenotrophic Methanobacteriales were the predominant. In the middle layer, mostly H2-producing acetogens from the δ-Proteobacteria (i.e., Desulfovibrio spp.), hydrogenotrophic Methanobacteriales and aceticlastic Methanosaeta were observed to presumably form a syntrophic association. Finally, the center core consisted of microcolonies of Methanosaeta cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1775
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • 16S rRNA
  • Anaerobic biogranule
  • Fluorescence in-situ hybridization
  • Microbial community
  • Oligonucleotide probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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