Population dynamics of polyphosphate-accumulating bacteria (PP bacteria) was studied in a laboratory sequencing batch reactor simulating anaerobic-oxic sludge system. The competition between PP bacteria and another microorganism (“G bacteria”) for anaerobic-oxic utilization of acetate as the sole source of organic carbon was observed. The competition was found to be seriously influenced by protozoan and metazoan grazing: Predation-resistant “G bacteria” forming large compact flocs outcompeted PP bacteria. Several breakdowns of enhanced biological phosphorus removal were observed. The first one was related to the development of an euglenid flagellate Entosiphon sulcatus and attached ciliates Vorticella microstoma and V. campanula. The second system collapse was connected with a rapid proliferation of rotifers. An alternative-prey predation was thought to be a mechanism of PP bacteria elimination.

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