The microbial populations in the activated sludge of two Polish wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were identified and quantified using Illumina sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons over a 2-year period. Their dynamics over time were compared to Danish WWTPs (data collected in previous studies by Center for Microbial Communities, Aalborg University). The bacterial communities in Polish and Danish WWTPs were similar to each other, but the microbial diversity in Polish WWTPs was lower. The dominant genera in Polish WWTPs were more abundant than in Danish WWTPs; 30 of them constituted more than half the of activated sludge community. Polish WWTPs showed a higher abundance of bacteria involved in nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand removal (Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes), while polyphosphate-acculumating bacteria were the dominant bacterial group in Danish plants. The microbial community structures in the examined Polish WWTPs were relatively similar to each other and showed strong seasonal variations which are not normally observed in Danish WWTPs.

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