The Microbial Community Structure of Drinking Water Biofilms Can Be Affected by Phosphorus Availability


American Society for Microbiology


Microbial communities in biofilms grown for 4 and 11 weeks under the flow of drinking water supplemented with 0, 1, 2, and 5 μg of phosphorus liter−1 and in drinking and warm waters were compared by using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and lipopolysaccharide 3-hydroxy fatty acids (LPS 3-OH-FAs). Phosphate increased the proportion of PLFAs 16:1ω7c and 18:1ω7c and affected LPS 3-OH-FAs after 11 weeks of growth, indicating an increase in gram-negative bacteria and changes in their community structure. Differences in community structures between biofilms and drinking and warm waters can be assumed from PLFAs and LPS 3-OH-FAs, concomitantly with adaptive changes in fatty acid chain length, cyclization, and unsaturation.

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