Cloning of environmental genomic fragments as physical markers for monitoring microbial populations in coking wastewater treatment system

Xing Yan, Zhengmao Xu, Xiaoxi Feng, Yongdi Liu, Binbin Liu, Xiaojun Zhang, Chenguang Zhu, Liping Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The association between community functional shift and dynamics of genomic DNA composition can be used to identify functionally relevant populations as indicator organisms for systems monitoring. In this work, fingerprinting-based community DNA hybridization was used to monitor community structural dynamics and identify genomic fragments whose abundance shifts were concomitant to changes in COD removal capacity in a reactor. A laboratory-scale anaerobic-anoxic-oxic fixed biofilm system treating coking wastewater was operated with (LR mode) or without effluent recirculation (LNR mode). The contribution to total chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal by the anoxic reactor increased from 4% in LNR mode to 26% in LR mode. Long primer RAPD (randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) community fingerprints of the anoxic reactor also changed most significantly from the one similar to the anaerobic reactor to one similar to the oxic reactor. DNA hybridization revealed one signature band of 2.1 kb shared by the anoxic and oxic reactors in LR, but not LNR mode. Clone library profiling of this band resulted in one predominant 2.1-kb genomic fragment (B3) with no homologous sequences in GenBank. Real-time polymerase chain reaction indicated that copy numbers of B3 in the anoxic reactor under LR mode were 69 times higher than that under LNR mode, concomitant to a significant increase in COD removal capacity in this reactor. The different patterns of distribution of B3 in the laboratory system and a comparable malfunctioning industrial system demonstrated the potential of this genomic fragment as physical markers in systems monitoring. In addition, this genomic fragment may allow sequence-guided isolation of the host microbe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-172
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


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