Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 189–205 | Cite as

Bacteriology of activated sludge, in particular the filamentous bacteria

  • W. L. van Veen


Microscopic examination of bulking activated sludge samples showed the presence of a variety of filamentous microorganisms, some of which have not yet been described in the literature. A method was developed to obtain pure cultures of these threaded bacteria. To date, five clearly different groups of filamentous bacteria may be distinguished by the determination of a few morphological and physiological characteristics of the isolates.

A variety of sheathed bacteria are included in Group I. Group II includes non-motile, gram-negative, orange- or yellow-pigmented filamentous bacteria. These microorganisms are thought to be related to some species of the genusFlavobacterium. The gram-negative, threaded bacteria of Group III show a more or less distinct gliding movement and form red colonies on rich agar media. These bacteria may apparently be related to species described in the generaMicroscilla andFlexibacter. The filamentous bacteria of Group IV structurally resemble someCyanophyceae, but do not contain photosynthetic pigments. They are gram-positive and non-motile. A number of unknown, non-motile bacteria which stain gram-positive with a variable number of gram-negative autolyzed cells in the filaments, are assigned to Group V. The properties of the isolated bacteria are described briefly and their occurrence in bulking activated sludge is discussed.


Filamentous Bacterium Activate Sludge Sample Oxidation Ditch Cell Septum Filamentous Microorganism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© H. Veenman & Zonen B.V. 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. L. van Veen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenthe Netherlands

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