The diversity and community structure of the b-proteobacterial ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) in a range of different lab-scale industrial wastewater treatment reactors were compared. Three of the reactors treat waste from mixed domestic and industrial sources whereas the other reactor treats waste solely of industrial origin. PCR with AOB selective primers was combined with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to allow comparative analysis of the dominant AOB populations and the phylogenetic affiliation of the dominant AOB was determined by cloning and sequencing or direct sequencing of bands excised from DGGE gels. Different AOB were found within and between different reactors. All AOB sequences identified were grouped within the genus Nitrosomonas. Within the lab-scale reactors there appeared to be selection for a low diversity of AOB and predominance of a single AOB population. Furthermore, the industrial input in both effluents apparently selected for salt tolerant AOB, most closely related to Nitrosococcus mobilis and Nitrosomonas halophila.

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