While very successful anammox based systems have been constructed, we still do not really know much about the organisms that power the anammox process. So far what we know is:
- The microbes have a long generation time (slow growing)
- Grow in mixed culture with other organisms
- Form granules similar to that found in anaerobic digesters
- Possess an anammoxosome (membrane structure that actually does the conversion)
The results of the results of the DNA sequencing have made the anammox puzzle even more interesting. Instead of typical bacteria, the anammox granules have a very unusual genome. They do not have many genes considered essential for bacteria. The researchers have called anammox populations the equivalent of “Microbial Dark Matter” – where much is yet to be learned.