Larger Anammox Granules not only Harbor Higher Species Diversity but also Support More Functional Diversity

Hui Chen, Tao Liu, Jie Li, Likai Mao, Jun Ye, Xiaoyu Han, Mike S.M. Jetten, Jianhua Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Granule-based partial nitritation and anammox (PN/A) represents one of the most energy-efficient biotechniques for ammonium removal from wastewater. The PN/A granules appear in a continuum of sizes, yet little is known about the extent to which microbial communities and microbial metabolisms are partitioned between size-fractionated granules. Here, we divided granules harvested from a pilot-scale PN/A reactor into five discrete size fractions (<0.2, 0.2-0.5, 0.5-0.8, 0.8-1.0, and >1.0 mm). The composition and functional attribute of five pools of the size-fractionated granules were characterized by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicon and metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing to provide a comprehensive insight into the key microbial group in a PN/A system. Larger granules were shown to not only harbor higher microbial diversity but also support more diverse functions than smaller granules. De novo coassembly and binning of metagenomic reads yielded 22 draft genomes of dominant microorganisms, which allowed us to infer an ecological model of the microbial ecosystem in anammox-based granules. This genome-based ecological model indicates that nitrifying organisms in smaller granules feed nitrite to anammox bacteria in larger granules. The results improve our understanding of the PN/A system, especially for the metabolic interactions between small and large granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14664-14673
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Larger Anammox Granules not only Harbor Higher Species Diversity but also Support More Functional Diversity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this