Assessing the spatial and temporal variability of bacterial communities in two Bardenpho wastewater treatment systems via Illumina MiSeq sequencing

Jia Xue, Bradley W. Schmitz, Kevin Caton, Bowen Zhang, Jovanny Zabaleta, Christopher M. Taylor, Tatiana Romanchishina, Charles P. Gerba, Ian L. Pepper, Samendra P. Sherchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Next generation sequencing provides new insights into the diversity and ecophysiology of bacteria communities throughout wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), as well as the fate of pathogens in wastewater treatment system. In the present study, we investigated the bacterial communities and human-associated Bacteroidales (HF183) marker in two WWTPs in North America that utilize Bardenpho treatment processes. Although, most pathogens were eliminated during wastewater treatment, some pathogenic bacteria were still observed in final effluents. The HF183 genetic marker demonstrated significant reductions between influent and post-Bardenpho treated samples in each WWTP, which coincided with changes in bacteria relative abundances and community compositions. Consistent with previous studies, the major phyla in wastewater samples were predominantly comprised by Proteobacteria (with Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria among the top two classes), Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. Dominant genera were often members of Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, including several pathogens of public health concern, such as Pseudomonas, Serratia, Streptococcus, Mycobacterium and Arcobacter. Pearson correlations were calculated to observe the seasonal variation of relative abundances of gene sequences at different levels based on the monthly average temperature. These findings profile how changes in bacterial communities can function as a robust method for monitoring wastewater treatment quality and performance for public and environmental health purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1552
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Mar 20 2019


  • Bacterial community
  • Bacteroides HF183
  • Bardenpho
  • Fecal contamination
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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