Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 1755–1765 | Cite as

General and rare bacterial taxa demonstrating different temporal dynamic patterns in an activated sludge bioreactor

  • Taek-Seung Kim
  • Ju-Yong Jeong
  • George F. Wells
  • Hee-Deung Park
Environmental biotechnology


Temporal variation of general and rare bacterial taxa was investigated using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene from activated sludge samples collected bimonthly for a two-year period. Most of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were allocated to rare taxa (89.6%), but the rare taxa comprised a small portion of the community in terms of abundance of sequences analyzed (28.6%). Temporal variations in OTUs richness significantly differed between the two taxa groups in which the rare taxa showed a higher diversity and a more fluctuating pattern than the general taxa. Furthermore, the two taxa groups were constrained by different explanatory variables: influent BOD, effluent BOD, and DO were the significant (P < 0.05) parameters affecting the pattern of the general taxa, while temperature was the factor for the rare taxa. Over the test period, the general taxa persisted for a longer time (i.e., lower turnover rate) in the bioreactor than the rare taxa. In conclusion, this study demonstrated clear differences in temporal dynamic patterns for the general and rare bacterial taxa in an activated sludge bioreactor, which would be a foundation for better understanding the bacterial ecology of activated sludge.


Activated sludge Rare species Pyrosequencing Species time relationship Temporal dynamics 

Supplementary material

253_2012_4002_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (38 kb)
ESM 1(XLSX 38 kb)
253_2012_4002_MOESM2_ESM.docx (22 kb)
ESM 2(DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taek-Seung Kim
    • 1
  • Ju-Yong Jeong
    • 2
  • George F. Wells
    • 3
  • Hee-Deung Park
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil, Environmental and Architectural EngineeringKorea UniversitySeongbuk-GuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Water Quality ResearchGyeonggi-do Institute of Health and EnvironmentSuwonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Process EngineeringEawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland

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