Submitted to: Gordon Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2011
Publication Date: 6/14/2011
Citation: Ducey, T.F., Hunt, P.G. 2011. The tale of four lagoons [abstract]. Gordon Research Conference on Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 10-15, 2011, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Technical Abstract: Anaerobic lagoons are a common management practice in the Carolinas for the treatment of swine wastewater. Although these lagoons were once thought to be relatively simple; their physical, chemical, and biological processes are actually very sophisticated. To get a better understanding of the microbial populations and the biological processes they undertake in these lagoons, we undertook a study of a series of commercial lagoons. The objectives of this study were as follows: 1) measure denitrification enzyme activity; 2) quantify the abundance of the genes amoA, nirS, nirK, and nosZ; 3) correlate enzyme activity and gene abundance with physical and chemical factors of these lagoons; and 4) determine the microbial populations through the water column. The findings of this study demonstrated that DEA activity was low throughout the water column of the lagoons, but that the genes which encode enzymes for nitrification and denitrification were found to be of high abundance. Additionally, the populations of the lagoons were widely varied. These findings seem to indicate that the potential for nitrification and denitrification in these anaerobic lagoons is high, but that current environmental conditions inhibit this activity. These environmental conditions also contribute to diverse microbial populations.