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Title: Glycine adversely affects enhanced biological phosphorus removal
Authors: Tian, Yucheng
Chen, Hang
Chen, Liping
Deng, Xuhan
Hu, Zekun
Wang, Cenchao
Wei, Chaohai
Qiu, Guanglei
Wuertz, Stefan
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Tian, Y., Chen, H., Chen, L., Deng, X., Hu, Z., Wang, C., Wei, C., Qiu, G. & Wuertz, S. (2022). Glycine adversely affects enhanced biological phosphorus removal. Water Research, 209, 117894-.
Project: 1102-IRIS-10-02 
Journal: Water Research
Abstract: Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) is used extensively in full-scale wastewater treatment plants for the removal of phosphorus. Despite previous evidence showing that glycine is a carbon source for a certain lineage of polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) such as Tetrasphaera, it is still unknown whether glycine can support EBPR. We observed an overall adverse effect of glycine on EBPR using activated sludge from both full-scale wastewater treatment plants and lab-scale reactors harboring distant and diverse PAOs and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), including Candidatus Accumulibacter, Thiothrix, Tetrasphaera, Dechloromonas, Ca. Competibacter, and Defluviicoccus, among others. Glycine induced phosphorus (P) release under anaerobic conditions without being effectively taken up by cells. The induced P release rate correlated with glycine concentration in the range of 10 to 50 mg C/L. PAOs continued to release P in the presence of glycine under aerobic conditions without any evident P uptake. Under mixed carbon conditions, the occurrence of glycine did not seem to affect acetate uptake; however, it significantly reduced the rate of P uptake in the aerobic phase. Overall, glycine did not appear to be an effective carbon source for a majority of PAOs and GAOs in full-scale and lab-scale systems, and neither did other community members utilize glycine under anaerobic or aerobic conditions. Metatranscriptomic analysis showed the transcription of glycine cleavage T, P and H protein genes, but not of the L protein or the downstream genes in the glycine cleavage pathway, suggesting barriers to metabolizing glycine. The high transcription of a gene encoding a drug/metabolite transporter suggests a potential efflux mechanism, where glycine transported into the cells is in turn exported at the expense of ATP, resulting in P release without affecting the glycine concentration in solution. The ability of glycine to induce P release without cellular uptake suggests a way to effectively recover P from P-enriched waste sludge.
ISSN: 0043-1354
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117894
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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