Fine-scale population structure of accumulibacter phosphatis in enhanced biological phosphorus removal sludge

Qian Wang, Yongqi Shao, Vu Thi Thu Huong, Woojun Park, Jong Moon Park, Cheok Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the diversities of Accumulibacter phosphatis and its poly hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene (phaC) in enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) sludge, an acetate-fed sequencing batch reactor was operated. Analysis of microbial communities using fluorescence in situ hybridization and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries showed that the population of Accumulibacter phosphatis in the EBPR sludge comprised more than 50% of total bacteria, and was clearly divided into two subgroups with about 97.5% sequence identity of the 16S rRNA genes. PAO phaC primers targeting the phaC genes of Accumulibacter phosphatis were designed and applied to retrieve fragments of putative phaC homologs of Accumulibacter phosphatis from EBPR sludge. PAO phaC primers targeting G1PAO, G2PAO, and G3PAO groups produced PCR amplicons successfully; the resulting sequences of the phaC gene homologs were diverse, and were distantly related to metagenomic phaC sequences of Accumulibacter phosphatis with 75-98% DNA sequence identities. Degenerate NPAO (non-PAO) phaC primers targeting phaC genes of non-Accumulibacter phosphatis bacteria were also designed and applied to the EBPR sludge. Twenty-four phaC homologs retrieved from NPAO phaC primers were different from the phaC gene homologs derived from Accumulibacter phosphatis, which suggests that the PAO phaC primers were specific for the amplification of phaC gene homologs of Accumulibacter phosphatis, and the putative phaC gene homologs by PAO phaC primers were derived from Accumulibacter phosphatis in the EBPR sludge. Among 24 phaC homologs, a phaC homolog (G1NPAO-2), which was dominant in the NPAO phaC clone library, showed the strongest signal in slot hybridization and shared approximately 60% nucleotide identity with the G4PAO group of Accumulibacter phosphatis, which suggests that G1NPAO-2 might be derived from Accumulibacter phosphatis. In conclusion, analyses of the 16S rRNA and phaC genes showed that Accumulibacter phosphatis might be phylogenetically and metabolically diverse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1297
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul 28


  • "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis"
  • Diversity
  • EBPR
  • Rhodocyclus
  • phaC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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