Nitrate Reverses Severe Nitrite Inhibition of Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) Activity in Continuously-Fed Bioreactors

Guangbin Li, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez, David Vilcherrez, Stefan Weiss, Callie Gill, Mark J. Krzmarzick, Leif Abrell, Jim A. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitrite (NO2 -) substrate under certain conditions can cause failure of N-removal processes relying on anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria. Detoxification of NO2 - can potentially be achieved by using exogenous nitrate (NO3 -). In this work, continuous experiments in bioreactors with anammox bacteria closely related to "Candidatus Brocadia caroliniensis" were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of short NO3 - additions to reverse NO2 - toxicity. The results show that a timely NO3 - addition immediately after a NO2 - stress event completely reversed the NO2 - inhibition. This reversal occurs without NO3 - being metabolized as evidence by lack of any 30N2 formation from 15N-NO3 -. The maximum recovery rate was observed with 5 mM NO3 - added for 3 days; however, slower but significant recovery was also observed with 5 mM NO3 - for 1 day or 2 mM NO3 - for 3 days. Without NO3 - addition, long-term NO2 - inhibition of anammox biomass resulted in irreversible damage of the cells. These results suggest that a short duration dose of NO3 - to an anammox bioreactor can rapidly restore the activity of NO2 --stressed anammox cells. On the basis of the results, a hypothesis about the detoxification mechanism related to narK genes in anammox bacteria is proposed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10518-10526
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume50
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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