Abstract

This study aimed to address the gap in understanding how the microbial community present within quorum quenching-membrane bioreactor (QQ-MBRs) changes during the operations by investigating the behavior of two different types of QQ bacteria, Bacillus sp. T5 and Delftia sp. T6. The anti-biofouling effects of T5 and T6 in the QQ-MBR were 85% and 76%, respectively. According to the Illumina HiSeq results, when the QQ-MBR was operated with Gram-positive bacteria, T5, in the mixed liquor a reduction was observed in Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria population increased. In contrast, when the QQ-MBR was operated with Gram-negative bacteria, T6, Gram-negative bacteria population reduced and an increase in Gram-positive bacteria observed. As such, the outputs of the Illumina analysis revealed that use of Gram-negative QQ bacteria in the reactor induced a Gram-positive microbial community and vice versa. This indicates that a close interaction occurs between indigenous Gram-negative and positive bacterial phyla, and Bacillus sp. T5/Delftia sp. T6 is fundamental to the performance of MBRs. This is the first study demonstrating such a relationship and assistance selecting QQ bacteria/strategy in an effective way.

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