Assessment of bacterial and structural dynamics in aerobic granular biofilms

David G. Weissbrodt*, Thomas R. Neu, Ute Kuhlicke, Yoan Rappaz, Christof Holliger

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) is based on self-granulated flocs forming mobile biofilms with a gel-like consistence. Bacterial and structural dynamics from flocs to granules were followed in anaerobic-aerobic sequencing batch reactors (SBR) fed with synthetic wastewater, namely a bubble column (BC-SBR) operated under wash-out conditions for fast granulation, and two stirred-tank enrichments of Accumulibacter (PAO-SBR) and Competibacter (GAO-SBR) operated at steady-state. In the BC-SBR, granules formed within 2 weeks by swelling of Zoogloea colonies around flocs, developing subsequently smooth zoogloeal biofilms. However, Zoogloea predominance (37-79%) led to deteriorated nutrient removal during the first months of reactor operation. Upon maturation, improved nitrification (80-100%), nitrogen removal (43-83%), and high but unstable dephosphatation (75-100%) were obtained. Proliferation of dense clusters of nitrifiers, Accumulibacter, and Competibacter from granule cores outwards resulted in heterogeneous bioaggregates, inside which only low abundance Zoogloea (

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
    Issue numberJUL
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Aerobic granular sludge
    • Biological wastewater treatment
    • CLSM
    • FISH
    • FLBA
    • Granular biofilm formation and structure
    • Pyrosequencing
    • T-RFLP


    Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of bacterial and structural dynamics in aerobic granular biofilms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this