Re-evaluating the microbiology of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal process

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Abstract

We have critically assessed some of the dogmas in the microbiology of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) and argue that the genus Tetrasphaera can be as important as Ca. Accumulibacter for phosphorus removal; and that proliferation of their competitors, the glycogen accumulating organisms, does not appear to be a practical problem for EBPR efficiency even under tropical conditions. An increasing number of EBPR-related genomes are changing our understanding of their physiology, for example, their potential to participate in denitrification. Rather than trying to identify organisms that adhere to strict phenotype metabolic models, we advocate for broader analyses of the whole microbial communities in EBPR plants by iterative studies with isolates, lab enrichments, and full-scale systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume57
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
ISSN0958-1669
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Bioreactors/microbiology
  • Glycogen/metabolism
  • Phosphorus/isolation & purification
  • Polyphosphates/metabolism
  • Water Microbiology

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