MIDAS is a central resource for information about the microbes in the engineered ecosystem of activated sludge and similar wastewater treatment systems, such as biofilms, granules and membrane-bioreactors. There are over 50 genera of organisms typically abundant (> 0.5%) in the community and a majority of these do not have closely-related cultured relatives.
Nomenclature in the anarchy outside of the mainstream systematic bacteriological naming has led to considerable confusion; here we propose a provisional naming scheme for the genera in community that can be used as a reference point for linking the most updated naming (taxonomy) and sequence data with functional information about the in situ metabolism of microbes in this habitat.
The data is manually curated by a small team of experts so we invite contribution if you find an error or have something that you think should be in the database. You can also sign up for the mailing list to receive the latest news and updates.
General use cases
Genus/species X has been identified in my plant
- Are they typical (core) organisms in activated sludge?
- What function do they typically perform?
- Are these organisms occassional (transient) organisms that may be problematic for plant operation?
I have filaments of morphology, eg. Eikelboom type 0092
- Which taxonomic groups are these organisms likely to come from?
I am interested in a function in activated sludge
- Which microbes are typically associated with this process?
How many organisms have been tested for this function?
- I have a sequence library derived from activated sludge
Which organisms are present?
- How can I compare these names to those from other studies?
Linking taxonomy and function
The in situ physiology of many organisms in the activated sludge ecosystem is extensively characterised, in part due to its amenability to in situ methods, such as microautoradiography (MAR) and stable-isotope probing (SIP). The ambition of the MiDAS field guide is to summarise all the knowledge about the distribution, ecology and diversity, and metabolism of the important organisms in the ecosystem.
The MIDAS name-function table begins this task.
The information will be expanded in the coming months to include detailed in situ substrate specificity profiles, and putative capabilites from genomic data.