Linking the shifts in the metabolically active microbiota in a UASB and hybrid anaerobic-aerobic bioreactor for swine wastewater treatment

María E. Ochoa-Hernández, Andrea Reynoso-Varela, Luis R. Martínez-Córdova, Belén Rodelas, Ulises Durán, Rocío J. Alcántara-Hernández, Denisse Serrano-Palacios*, Kadiya Calderón*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Due to the high concentration of pollutants, swine wastewater needs to be treated prior to disposal. The combination of anaerobic and aerobic technologies in one hybrid system allows to obtain higher removal efficiencies compared to those achieved via conventional biological treatment, and the performance of a hybrid system depends on the microbial community in the bioreactor. Here, we evaluated the community assembly of an anaerobic-aerobic hybrid reactor for swine wastewater treatment. Sequencing of partial 16S rRNA coding genes was performed using Illumina from DNA and retrotranscribed RNA templates (cDNA) extracted from samples from both sections of the hybrid system and from a UASB bioreactor fed with the same swine wastewater influent. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the dominant phyla and play a key role in anaerobic fermentation, followed by Methanosaeta and Methanobacterium. Several differences were found in the relative abundances of some genera between the DNA and cDNA samples, indicating an increase in the diversity of the metabolically active community, highlighting Chlorobaculum, Cladimonas, Turicibacter and Clostridium senso stricto. Nitrifying bacteria were more abundant in the hybrid bioreactor. Beta diversity analysis revealed that the microbial community structure significantly differed among the samples (p < 0.05) and between both anaerobic treatments. The main predicted metabolic pathways were the biosynthesis of amino acids and the formation of antibiotics. Also, the metabolism of C5-branched dibasic acid, Vit B5 and CoA, exhibited an important relationship with the main nitrogen-removing microorganisms. The anaerobic-aerobic hybrid bioreactor showed a higher ammonia removal rate compared to the conventional UASB system. However, further research and adjustments are needed to completely remove nitrogen from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118435
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Hybrid system
  • Methanosaeta
  • Microbial community
  • Swine wastewater
  • UASB
  • cDNA


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