16S rRNA gene-based characterization of bacteria potentially associated with phosphate and carbonate precipitation from a granular autotrophic nitrogen removal bioreactor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Alejandro Gonzalez-Martinez
  • Alejandro Rodriguez-Sanchez
  • María Angustias Rivadeneyra
  • Almudena Rivadeneyra
  • Daniel Martin-Ramos
  • Riku Vahala

  • Jesús Gonzalez-Lopez

Research units

  • Technische Universität München
  • University of Granada


A bench-scale granular autotrophic nitrogen removal bioreactor (completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite (CANON) system) used for the treatment of synthetic wastewater was analyzed for the identification of microbiota with potential capacity for carbonate and phosphate biomineral formation. 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene-based studies revealed that different bacterial species found in the granular biomass could trigger the formation of phosphate and calcite minerals in the CANON bioreactor. iTag analysis of the microbial community in the granular biomass with potential ability to precipitate calcium carbonate and hydroxyapatite constituted around 0.79–1.32 % of total bacteria. Specifically, the possible hydroxyapatite-producing Candidatus Accumulibacter had a relative abundance of 0.36–0.38 % and was the highest phosphate-precipitating bacteria in the granular CANON system. With respect to calcite precipitation, the major potential producer was thought to be Stenotrophomonas with a 0.38–0.50 % relative abundance. In conclusion, our study showed evidences that the formation of hydroxyapatite and calcite crystals inside of the granular biomass of a CANON system for the treatment wastewater with high ammonium concentration was a biological process. Therefore, it could be suggested that microorganisms play an important role as a precipitation core and also modified the environment due to their metabolic activities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-829
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
Early online date3 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Biomineralization, Calcite, CANON, iTag, Nitrogen, Phosphate

ID: 9364751