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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 18572-18598; doi:10.3390/ijms140918572
Review

Archaeal Diversity in Biofilm Technologies Applied to Treat Urban and Industrial Wastewater: Recent Advances and Future Prospects

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Received: 18 July 2013; in revised form: 22 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 August 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilms: Extracellular Bastions of Bacteria)
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Abstract: Biological wastewater treatment (WWT) frequently relies on biofilms for the removal of anthropogenic contaminants. The use of inert carrier materials to support biofilm development is often required, although under certain operating conditions microorganisms yield structures called granules, dense aggregates of self-immobilized cells with the characteristics of biofilms maintained in suspension. Molecular techniques have been successfully applied in recent years to identify the prokaryotic communities inhabiting biofilms in WWT plants. Although methanogenic Archaea are widely acknowledged as key players for the degradation of organic matter in anaerobic bioreactors, other biotechnological functions fulfilled by Archaea are less explored, and research on their significance and potential for WWT is largely needed. In addition, the occurrence of biofilms in WWT plants can sometimes be a source of operational problems. This is the case for membrane bioreactors (MBR), an advanced technology that combines conventional biological treatment with membrane filtration, which is strongly limited by biofouling, defined as the undesirable accumulation of microbial biofilms and other materials on membrane surfaces. The prevalence and spatial distribution of archaeal communities in biofilm-based WWT as well as their role in biofouling are reviewed here, in order to illustrate the significance of this prokaryotic cellular lineage in engineered environments devoted to WWT.
Keywords: Archaea; biofilm; biofouling; wastewater treatment; WWT; membrane bioreactor; MBR; granular sludge Archaea; biofilm; biofouling; wastewater treatment; WWT; membrane bioreactor; MBR; granular sludge
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Calderón, K.; González-Martínez, A.; Gómez-Silván, C.; Osorio, F.; Rodelas, B.; González-López, J. Archaeal Diversity in Biofilm Technologies Applied to Treat Urban and Industrial Wastewater: Recent Advances and Future Prospects. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 18572-18598.

AMA Style

Calderón K, González-Martínez A, Gómez-Silván C, Osorio F, Rodelas B, González-López J. Archaeal Diversity in Biofilm Technologies Applied to Treat Urban and Industrial Wastewater: Recent Advances and Future Prospects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(9):18572-18598.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Calderón, Kadiya; González-Martínez, Alejandro; Gómez-Silván, Cinta; Osorio, Francisco; Rodelas, Belén; González-López, Jesús. 2013. "Archaeal Diversity in Biofilm Technologies Applied to Treat Urban and Industrial Wastewater: Recent Advances and Future Prospects." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 9: 18572-18598.


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