Microbial fouling is a serious problem in open recirculating cooling water systems. The bacterial communities that cause it have not been fully understood. In this study, we analyzed the community structure of free-living bacteria and particle-attached bacteria in cooling water, and bacteria in biofilm collected from the wall of the water reservoir in an industrial recirculating cooling water system by construction of a 16S rRNA gene clone library. Based on amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis, clones of all three libraries were clustered into 45 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Thirteen OTUs displaying 91–96% sequence similarity to a type strain might be novel bacterial species. Noted differences in community structure were observed among the three libraries. The relative species richness of the free-living bacteria in cooling water was much lower than that of particle-attached bacteria and bacteria in biofilm. The majority of the free-living bacterial community (99.0%) was Betaproteobacteria. The predominant bacteria in the particle-attached bacterial community were Alphaproteobacteria (20.5%), Betaproteobacteria (27.8%) and Planctomycetes (42.0%), while those in the biofilm bacterial community were Alphaproteobacteria (47.9%), Betaproteobacteria (11.7%), Acidobacteria (13.1%) and Gemmatimonadetes (11.3%). To control microbial fouling in industrial recirculating cooling water systems, additional physiological and ecological studies of these species will be essential.
Bacterial community structure in cooling water and biofilm in an industrial recirculating cooling water system
Jinmei Wang, Min Liu, Huijie Xiao, Wei Wu, Meijuan Xie, Mengjia Sun, Chenglin Zhu, Pengfu Li; Bacterial community structure in cooling water and biofilm in an industrial recirculating cooling water system. Water Sci Technol 1 August 2013; 68 (4): 940–947. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2013.334
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