Exploitation of molecular genetics in microbial degradation and decolorization of industrial waste water effluent
Activated sludge samples were used to analyse microbial community structures from the anoxic and aerobic zones of a laboratory-scale modified Ludzack-Ettinger system. Fluorescent in situ hybridization and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were applied for analysis. With the help of DNA specific fluorochrome DAPI, approximately 75 to 80% of total cells were detected, hybridised with a specific eubacterial probe for the anoxic and aerobic zones. Results corroborate the dominance of the alpha and gamma subclasses of the Proteobacteria in the anoxic zone whilst the aerobic zone was dominated with the beta subclass of the Proteobacteria. Genetic diversity of the microbial community present in each of the anoxic and aerobic zones was employed by the DGGE technique. Results were obtained from the application of fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and PCR-DGGE yields a more precise understanding of the microbial community structure and genetic diversity present in domestic wastewater of a laboratory scale treatment process. Nitrogen mass balances indicated an upset in the nitrogen levels for wastewater batches two and seven. The carbon mass balance fell in the range of 92.4 and 105.9% and the nitrogen mass balance fell in the range of 98.4 and 160.0%.
Key words: Fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), COD and nitrogen mass balances.