Nitrification is an important biological process in nitrogen cycling and has a significant effect on effluent quality in wastewater treatment. Nitrification occurs in two steps by two types of chemoautotrophic bacteria, the ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). The ammonia oxidizing bacteria is responsible for the oxidation of ammonia with oxygen into nitrite and is often the rate-limiting step in nitrification in wastewater treatment plants. Hence, a better understanding of the ecology, microbiology and chemistry of ammonia oxidizing bacteria in biological wastewater treatment systems is necessary in order to enhance treatment performance and control. A detailed review of various biological wastewater treatment processes, ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea; economic importance, problems, various molecular techniques for the investigation of the diversity and community structure, as well as the isolation of ammonia oxidizing bacteria were discussed.
Key words: Wastewater, activated sludge process, nitrification, ammonia oxidizing bacteria, ammonia oxidizing archaea, nitrite oxidizing bacteria, PCR primers.
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