Microbial Ecology

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 648–659 | Cite as

Assessment of Bacterial Community Composition of Anaerobic Granular Sludge in Response to Short-Term Uranium Exposure

  • Taotao ZengEmail author
  • Shiqi Zhang
  • Xiang Gao
  • Guohua Wang
  • Piet N. L. Lens
  • Shuibo Xie
Environmental Microbiology


The effect of 10–50 μM uranium (U(VI)) on the bacterial community of anaerobic granular sludge was investigated by 24-h exposure tests, after which the bacterial community was analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. The specific U(VI) reducing activity of the anaerobic granular sludge ranged between 3.1 to 19.7 μM U(VI) g−1(VSS) h−1, independently of the initial U(VI) concentration. Alpha diversity revealed that microbial richness and diversity was the highest for anaerobic granular sludge upon 10 μM uranium exposure. Compared with the original biomass, the phylum of Euryarchaeota was significantly affected, whereas the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Synergistetes phyla were only slightly affected. However, the abundance of Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria phyla clearly increased after 24 h uranium exposure. Based on the genus level analysis, significant differences appeared in the bacterial abundance after uranium exposure. The proportions of Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Parabacteroides, Brevundimonas, Sulfurovum, and Trichococcus increased significantly, while the abundance of Paludibacter and Erysipelotrichaceae incertae sedis decreased dramatically. This study shows a dynamic diversification of the bacterial composition as a response to a short time (24 h) U(VI) exposure (10–50 μM).


Uranium Anaerobic granular sludge Bacterial community composition High-throughput sequencing 



We greatly acknowledge that this research was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51408293 and 11475080) and the Scientific Research Staring Foundation for Doctoral Program in University of South China (2013XQD10), and the support from the Foundation of China Scholarship Council (grant 201608430243).

Supplementary material

248_2018_1152_MOESM1_ESM.docx (892 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 892 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hunan Province Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse TechnologyUniversity of South ChinaHengyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Key Discipline Laboratory for National Defence for Biotechnology in Uranium Mining and HydrometallurgyUniversity of South ChinaHengyangPeople’s Republic of China

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