Amplicon-based taxonomic characterization of bacteria in urban and peri-urban roof-harvested rainwater stored in tanks

Ahmed, W., Staley, C., Hamilton, K. A., Beale, D. J., Sadowsky, M. J., Toze, S. and Haas, C. N. (2017) Amplicon-based taxonomic characterization of bacteria in urban and peri-urban roof-harvested rainwater stored in tanks. Science of the Total Environment, 576 326-334. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.090


Author Ahmed, W.
Staley, C.
Hamilton, K. A.
Beale, D. J.
Sadowsky, M. J.
Toze, S.
Haas, C. N.
Title Amplicon-based taxonomic characterization of bacteria in urban and peri-urban roof-harvested rainwater stored in tanks
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-1026
0048-9697
Publication date 2017-01-15
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.090
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 576
Start page 326
End page 334
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject 2305 Environmental Engineering
2304 Environmental Chemistry
2311 Waste Management and Disposal
2310 Pollution
Abstract Overall, 26% of Australian households use rainwater tanks as a source of potable and nonpotable water. Limited information is available on the total bacterial communities in tank water. Therefore, identification of dominant bacterial communities, diversity, and their distribution is important in understanding the microbial quality of tank water. In this study, the abundance and diversity of bacterial communities in 88 tank water samples collected from the urban areas of Brisbane (n = 44) and the peri-urban center of Currumbin (n = 44) in Southeast Queensland, Australia were determined using amplicon-based Illumina next-generation sequencing. In addition, the SourceTracker program was used to identify the sources of fecal contamination in tank water samples. Sequence reads were also analyzed to detect potential bacterial pathogenic genera in the tank water samples collected. Differences in sample coverage, alpha diversity, and richness did not differ significantly between the Brisbane and Currumbin tank water samples. Comamonadaceae and Planctomycetaceae were the most abundant families in all tank water samples. Curvibacter was the most abundant genus in all tank water samples. SourceTracker revealed that around 34% (Brisbane) and 43% (Currumbin) of tank water samples had a signature for bird fecal contamination. The potential opportunistic pathogenic genera including Burkholderia, Chromobacterium, Clostridium, Legionella, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Pseudomonas were most prevalent in tank water samples. Next-generation sequencing can be used as an initial screening tool to identify a wide array of potential pathogenic genera in tank water samples followed by quantifying specific pathogen(s) of interest using more sensitive molecular assays such as quantitative PCR (qPCR).
Formatted abstract
Overall, 26% of Australian households use rainwater tanks as a source of potable and nonpotable water. Limited information is available on the total bacterial communities in tank water. Therefore, identification of dominant bacterial communities, diversity, and their distribution is important in understanding the microbial quality of tank water. In this study, the abundance and diversity of bacterial communities in 88 tank water samples collected from the urban areas of Brisbane (n = 44) and the peri-urban center of Currumbin (n = 44) in Southeast Queensland, Australia were determined using amplicon-based Illumina next-generation sequencing. In addition, the SourceTracker program was used to identify the sources of fecal contamination in tank water samples. Sequence reads were also analyzed to detect potential bacterial pathogenic genera in the tank water samples collected. Differences in sample coverage, alpha diversity, and richness did not differ significantly between the Brisbane and Currumbin tank water samples. Comamonadaceae and Planctomycetaceae were the most abundant families in all tank water samples. Curvibacter was the most abundant genus in all tank water samples. SourceTracker revealed that around 34% (Brisbane) and 43% (Currumbin) of tank water samples had a signature for bird fecal contamination. The potential opportunistic pathogenic genera including Burkholderia, Chromobacterium, Clostridium, Legionella, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, and Pseudomonas were most prevalent in tank water samples. Next-generation sequencing can be used as an initial screening tool to identify a wide array of potential pathogenic genera in tank water samples followed by quantifying specific pathogen(s) of interest using more sensitive molecular assays such as quantitative PCR (qPCR).
Keyword 16S rRNA amplicons
Harvested rainwater
Health risks
Next-generation sequencing
Pathogenic bacteria
Source tracking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Sub-type: Article (original research)
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