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Aquatic Microbial Ecology


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AME 86:63-68 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01958

NOTE
Changes in microbial communities during seawater pre-treatment within a desalination plant

Sergio Balzano1,2,*, Tamar Jamieson3,4, Sophie Leterme3,4

1Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli (SZN), Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
2Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB), Netherland Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Landsdiep 4, Texel, The Netherlands
3College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
4Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We analysed prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities across the seawater pre-treatment system of Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island, South Australia) desalination plant, using 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequencing. The richness of operational taxonomic units increased downstream of the pre-treatment system (reverse osmosis feedwater) compared to raw seawater for Archaea, while it decreased for bacteria and protists. Overall, the reverse osmosis feedwater was found to be enriched in ammonia-oxidising bacteria and Archaea compared to raw seawater, and also contained greater proportions of taxa typically observed in aquatic biofilms and/or within other water treatment systems. Although the microbial load was reduced by the pre-treatment system, the increase in proportion of biofilm-associated microbes suggests the presence of active microbial communities within multimedia filters and other parts of the pre-treatment system that might increase biofouling risks.


KEY WORDS: 16S rDNA · 18S rDNA · Ammonium oxidation · Desalination


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Cite this article as: Balzano S, Jamieson T, Leterme S (2021) Changes in microbial communities during seawater pre-treatment within a desalination plant. Aquat Microb Ecol 86:63-68. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01958

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