Metagenomic characterization of bacterial and functional gene communities in reclaimed water distribution systems

  • Changzhi Wang

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Water reuse is increasingly pursued to alleviate global water scarcity. However, wastewater treatment process does not achieve full removal of biological contaminants from wastewater, and hence some microorganisms and their genetic elements can be disseminated into the reclaimed water distribution systems (RWDS). A systematic identification and characterization of these biological contaminants is required. However, a broad characterization for large-scale data are limited. In this study, reclaimed water samples are investigated through metagenomic analyses to assess their bacterial and functional (metal resistance genes (MRGs); virulence factors (VFs)) communities at the entry and exit points of the RWDS. Furthermore, water quality data are investigated to evaluate the potential relationship with these metagenomic annotations. This study found that the organic carbon content was likely relevant to the increase of bacteria and functional genes in RWDS. It was also found that the variation of functional genes was not associated with their host, inferring the role of horizontal gene transfers or promiscuity of hosts for various functional genes. Furthermore, Pseudomonas was identified in one RWDS with significant increase at both bacterial and functional levels.
Date of AwardNov 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorPeiying Hong (Supervisor)


  • Metagenomics
  • Reclaimed Water
  • Bacterial Community
  • Functional Genes

Cite this