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Comparison of bacterial biofilm communities using barcoded pyrosequencing and analysis to determine origin of biofilm fouling of reverse osmosis membranes in a full scale desalination system

Skillman, L., Nagaraja, N., Moolhuijzen, P., Bunce, M. and Ho, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 (2013) Comparison of bacterial biofilm communities using barcoded pyrosequencing and analysis to determine origin of biofilm fouling of reverse osmosis membranes in a full scale desalination system. In: International Water Association Biofilm 2013 Conference, 28 - 31 May 2013, Paris, France

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Abstract

Biofouling is the single most important issue in reverse osmosis sea water desalination worldwide (Ridgway et al., 1999) and may account for up to 50% of energy use. Which species are responsible and their origin is unclear. With the advent of next generation sequencing, species diversity and transience can be examined at orders of magnitude greater detail than was previously possible. We found many similarities in bacterial families across source water, prefiltration units and membranes in this study and in the few other studies available, despite disparate locations and seasons. Key groups included members of the Bacteroidetes (e. Flavobacteriaceae), Planctomycetes, Alphaproteobacteria (eg. Rhodobacteraceae, Sphingomonadales), Betaproteobacteria (eg. Burkholderia) and Gammaproteobacteria (eg. Oceanospirillales, Xanthomonadaceae). Despite similarities in families, the predominant fouling species on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes appear to differ between studies. This seems likely to reflect a common origin (seawater) but subsequent adaptation or selective pressures in different niches, particularly on RO membranes under high pressure and salt concentration. We can now select environmental isolates from our culture collection representing key bacterial groups responsible for biofouling in seawater systems. This will enable more accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-fouling strategies.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52710
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