A 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucletide probe (MP2) specific for the phosphate-accumulating bacterium (PAB) M. phosphovorus was designed and applied to a sludge from an enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process. Probes specific for defined phylogenetic groups and the polyphosphate staining dye, DAPI (4′, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindol dihydrochloride) were also used to analyze the activated sludge community. M. phosphovorus was about 3% of the total bacteria in the EBPR sludge used. Proteobacteria belonging to the beta subclass were the most abundant. Many coccoid bacteria similar to M. phosphovorus were stained with DAPI. The percentage of PABs detected by DAPI stain was about 9% of the total bacteria.

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