As discussed in my last post, the organisms responsible for ammonia and nitrite removal are a diverse group. Instead of just Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, we have a variety of organisms that thrive under slightly different conditions. As they are all key microbes and slow growing, Paul Campbell - Aster Bio's molecular diagnostics guru - has developed a qPCR battery to monitor nitrifiers. qPCR works by fast quantificagtion of specific segments of genetic material. It can be customized to fit the actual poplations in the system. However, you need to make sure the qPCR is a good fit for you biomass which means off-the-shelf type kits are not always the right test.
What we now call a qPCR nitrifier pannel can quantify levels of the following:
- Nitrosomonas amoA
- Nitrospira 16s (total Nitrospira)
- Nitrospira nxrB (measure of NOB)
- Multiple Nitrospira COMAMMOX - most common groups in WW as found by testing
- Nitrobacter nxrB
- Nitrosospira 16s
- AOA amoA - ammonia oxidizing archaea
We are working on development of qPCR for key ANAMMOX cultures. If anyone operates a system with ANAMMOX, we would like to obtain samples to calibrate the tests. Just contact me by email.