This study carried out analysis of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) communities in 12 sewage activated sludge systems standing in eight sewage treatment plants located in Tokyo. The systems were different in the treatment process configuration: anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic (A2O), anaerobic/aerobic (AO), and conventional activated sludge (AS) processes. AOB communities were analyzed by sequences of 16S rDNA amplicons, which were separated by denaturing gradient gel eletrophoresis (DGGE) after specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. The results demonstrated that low ammonium concentrations in the influents of the 12 sewage activated sludge systems resulted in the dominance of Nitrosomonas oligotropha-like sequences. Further, Nitrosomonas europaea- and Nitrosomonas cryotolerans-like sequences were recovered from only one A2O system of which the influent contained higher ammonium and chloride concentrations than those of other systems. Nitrosomonas communis-like sequences were found in every A2O and AO system, but mostly not found in every AS system. In summary, influent characteristics and treatment process configuration affected the AOB communities in the 12 sewage activated sludge systems.

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