The microbial population in a laboratory activated sludge reactor was monitored for 245 d at 75 time points by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA. Synthetic wastewater was used as the influent, and the reactor was operated under the same conditions throughout the experiment. The behaviors of different bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed. Multiple OTUs showed periodic propagation and recession. One of the OTUs showed sharp recession, which suggests that cells in the OTU were selectively killed. The behaviors of different phylogenetic lineages of Candidatus 'Accumulibacter phosphatis' were also visualized. It was clearly demonstrated that pyrosequencing with barcoded primers is a very effective tool to clarify the dynamics of the bacterial population in activated sludge.
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