From MAGs to riches: exploring the microbial community of activated sludge using 1,083 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes
About Caitlin Singleton
Caitlin Singleton is a Postdoc at Aalborg University, Denmark working on recovering high-quality metagenome assembled genomes from the wastewater system, under the supervision of Per H Nielsen and Mads Albertsen. Her interests focus on the microorganisms that minimise the impact of humans on the environment, through bioremediation or nutrient cycling. Caitlin did her Ph.D. at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, and was part of an international team exploring the microbes in thawing permafrost.
Effective wastewater treatment is essential to protecting our environment and improving sustainability. Microorganisms drive the activated sludge process and are responsible for the breakdown of organic matter, nutrient recovery, and overall wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) efficiency. Near complete genomes are required to determine and encourage the microorganisms part of key functional guilds, such as polyphosphate accumulating organisms and nitrifiers. We have recovered 1,083 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (HQ MAGs) from 23 Danish WWTPs using the PromethION platform and >1 Tbp of long-read data. With HQ MAGs we can link functional potential to historical amplicon data, and visualise novel microorganisms in situ.