Author(s): Daims H, Taylor MW, Wagner M
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Abstract Biological wastewater treatment is among the most important biotechnological applications and, as drivers of the key processes, microorganisms are central to its success. Therefore, the study of wastewater microorganisms has obvious applied significance; however, the importance of wastewater treatment reactors as model systems for microbial ecology is often overlooked. Modern molecular techniques, including environmental genomics, have identified unexpected microbial key players for nutrient removal and sludge bulking and/or foaming, and provided many exciting insights into the diversity, functions and niche differentiations of these predominantly uncultivated microorganisms. It is now time for wastewater microbiology to be recognized as a mature and dynamic discipline in its own right, offering much toward a deeper understanding of life in complex microbial communities. Here, we consider selected key findings to illustrate the past and future roles of molecular ecophysiology and genomics in the development of wastewater microbiology as an important subdiscipline of microbial ecology.
This article was published in Trends Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials