There is great potential to understand the functional diversity of microorganisms that are involved in waste water treatment through metagenomic analyses. This study presents the first metagenomic comparison of taxonomic and functional profiles of the microbial communities occurring in different aggregates from anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bioreactors. The anammox bacterial communities in both biofilm and granule sludge samples showed relatively high abundance and diversity compared with floccular sludge. Four of the five known genera of anammox bacteria were detected in the three cultures except Candidatus Jettenia, which was absent in the granules. Candidatus Kuenenia comprised the major population of anammox bacteria in these three sludges, independent of their growth morphologies. The genome assembled for the Candidatus Kuenenia in the granule was very similar to the published reference genome of Candidatus K. stuttgartiensis. Genes involved in the metabolism of the anammox process were highly detected in the biofilm and granule sludges. In particular, the abundance of hydrazine synthase gene (hzs) in the biofilm was around 486 times more pronounced than that in the granules. The knowledge gained in this study highlights an important role of sludge aggregate in affecting community structure and metabolic potential of anammox systems.
© 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.