Comparative analysis of the bacterial diversity in a lab-scale moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) applied to treat urban wastewater under different operational conditions

Bioresour Technol. 2012 Oct;121:119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.06.078. Epub 2012 Jul 5.


Different types of carriers were tested as support material in a lab-scale moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) used to treat urban wastewater under three different conditions of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and carrier filling ratios (FR). The bacterial diversity developed on the biofilms responsible of the treatment was studied using a cultivation-independent approach based on the polymerase chain reaction-temperature gradient gel electrophoresis technique (PCR-TGGE). Cluster analysis of TGGE fingerprints showed significant differences of community structure dependent upon the different operational conditions applied. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to determine the relationship between the operational conditions (type of carrier, HRT, FR) and bacterial biofilm diversity, demonstrating a significant effect of FR=50%. Phylogenetic analysis of PCR-reamplified and sequenced TGGE bands revealed that the prevalent Bacteria populations in the biofilm were related to Betaproteobacteria (46%), Firmicutes (34%),Alphaproteobacteria (14%) and Gammaproteobacteria (9%).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / ultrastructure
  • Base Sequence
  • Biofilms*
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Cities*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Electrophoresis
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S