Principal component analysis for interaction of nitrifiers and wastewater environments at a full-scale activated sludge plant

O. O. Awolusi, Mahmoud Nasr, S. Kumari, F. Bux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the relationship between wastewater environments and the nitrifiers at a full-scale plant using principal component analysis. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria were detected by florescent in situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction, phylogenetic analysis, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Pyrosequencing was also used in profiling the ammonia monooxygenase locus of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria community. It was found that the dominant ammonia-oxidizing bacteria sequences were related to uncultured ammonia-oxidizing bacterium, uncultured Nitrosomonadaceae bacterium, Nitrosomonas sp., and uncultured bacterium. In addition, Nitrobacter clones were related to uncultured alpha proteobacterium, uncultured bacterium, uncultured Nitrobacter sp., and uncultured Bradyrhizobium sp., whereas Nitrospira clones were similar to uncultured bacterium, Candidatus Nitrospira defluvii, uncultured Nitrospira sp., and uncultured Nitrospirae bacterium. The ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria ranged 2.83 × 108–1.33 × 1010 and 1.25 × 1010–1.13 × 1011 copies L−1, respectively, equivalent to nitrite-oxidizing bacteria: ammonia-oxidizing bacteria ratio of 10:1. The first three parts of the principal components analysis accounted for 76.8% of the explained variance. The first principal component (44.4%) designated that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and Nitrospira were mainly influenced by seasonal variations, followed by chemical oxygen demand concentration and nitrogen species (i.e., ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate). The second principal component (19.1%) showed no information about the nitrifiers’ interaction with environmental factors, whereas Nitrobacter demonstrated a high correlation with ammonia on the third principal component (13.3%). These results revealed that the species of Nitrobacter were less influenced by environmental conditions than ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and Nitrospira spp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1490
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria
  • Environmental factors
  • Full-scale process
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria
  • Pyrosequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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