Note on Role of Microorganism in Waste Water Treatment, Microbial Air Pollution

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Role of microorganism in waste water treatment

Microorganism plays a vital role in waste water treatment during secondary treatment which is also called the biological treatment, the oxygen demanding wastes (organic wastes) of water pollution are removed with the help of microorganism.

The main purpose of secondary treatment is to provide additional biological oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solid particles. In trickling filter method, organic wastes are decomposed by aerobic decomposition. It mainly uses aerobic bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, worms, insect larvae and snails. Similarly, in activated sludge process recycle biological organism from the secondary settling tank known as activated sludge decompose the organic wastes in the aeration tank which receive effluent from the primary clarifier. On the other hand oxidation pond method, the facultative microorganism is decomposed the organic wastes in aerobic i.e in surface and anaerobic i.e in bottom conditions.

www.intechopen.com figure: curve showing role of microorganism
www.intechopen.com
figure: curve showing role of microorganism

Microbial air pollution

The undesirable change in the composition and quality of the air is known as air pollution. The air pollution due to microbial activity in the atmosphere is known as microbial air pollution. It is a kind of biological air pollution. Bacteria, virus particles, fungal particles, fungal spores, algae spores and cyst of protozoan are known as the naturally produced microbial pollutants. They are collectively known as air spores. A large number of algal spores of unicellular or multicellular forms are responsible for algal air pollutants. Examples: Gymnodium chlorella, fungal spores of Penicillin, Alternaria, Aspergillus, smut, rust and molds are the responsible microbial air pollutants. The fungal air pollutants cause a large number of mycosis and number of allergies in human being and animals. Allergies are caused due to inhalation of their spores. Bacterial and viral air pollutants cause many serious diseases and also caused allergies and often that allergies cause the skin diseases. There are millions of microbes in the air that we breathe. Their distribution depends on geographical and ecological condition. Most of the fungal spores are between 3 to 300 micrometer in diameter. The majority of bacteria cells re about 1 micrometer in diameter and virus particles are 0.1 micrometers. Microbes of human origin are ejected through talking, sneezing and coughing. Air serves as vehicles for transport of microbes from one place to another place. The fungal spore came from the soil, from the organic waste of man and animals, from the lungs through a cough and sneezes and from the mouth.

Effects of microbial air pollution

Fungal effects

Name of fungi Effects
Aspergillus Pulmonar infection and aspergillosis of ear
Microsporium Ringworms
Microspore and Eryptococcus Mycosis
Blastomycyces Skin disease
Alternaria Hay fever

Algal Effects

Name of algae Effects
Gymnodium Respiratory disorders
Chlorella skin infection
Simmon parasite on the intestine of human being
Prototheca joint infection

Describe the microbial interactions in the environment

Microbes make different associations and interaction among them and with higher animals, plants. Different microbes interact in different ways in an environment. The microbial interactions are responsible for regulation of population and viable existence in nature. There are two types of interactions; there is positive interaction in which both or either species is benefited and negative interaction in which both or either species are harmed.

1: Neutralism

2: Commensalism

3: Protocooperation (syntrophism)

4: Mutualism

5: Ammensalism

6: Predation

1: Naturalism

Naturalism describes the relationship between two species that interact but do not affect each other. It describes interactions where the health of one species has absolutely no effect whatsoever on that of the other. Examples of true neutralism are virtually impossible to prove and most ecologists (as well as textbooks) would agree that this concept does not exist. When dealing with the complex network of interactions presented by ecosystem, one cannot assert positively that there is absolutely no competition between or benefit to either species. However, the term is often used to describe situations where interactions are negligible or insignificant.

2: Commensalism

Commensalism benefits one organism and the other organism is neither benefited nor harmed. It occurs when one organism takes benefits by interacting with another organism by which the host organism is not affected. A good example is a remora living with a shark. Remoras eat leftover food from the shark. The shark is not affected in the process, as remoras eat the only leftover food of the shark, which does not deplete the shark's resources.

3:Protocooperation

The term symbiosis (Greek: living together) can be used to describe various degrees of close relationship between organisms of different species. Sometimes it is used only for cases where both organisms benefit; sometimes it is used more generally to describe all varieties of relatively tight relationships, i.e. even parasitism, but not predation. Some even go so far as to use it to describe predation. It can be used to describe relationships where one organism lives on or in another, or it can be used to describe cases where organisms are related by mutual stereotypic behaviors.

4: Mutualism

Mutualism is an interaction between two or more species, where species derive a mutual benefit, for example, an increased carrying capacity. Similar interactions within a species are known as co-operation. Mutualism may be classified in terms of the closeness of association, the closest being symbiosis, which is often confused with mutualism. One or both species involved in the interaction may be obligate, meaning they cannot survive in the short or long term without the other species. Though mutualism has historically received less attention than other interactions such as predation, it is very important subject in ecology.

5: Ammensalism

Commensalism is a kind of negative interaction in which one population harms the other but in turn remain unaffected. When a population stabilizes itself in an environment it prevents an attack of other species Examples, E. Coli cannot grow in human because of the presence of volatile fatty acids produces by heterotrophic population. The acid produced by microbial population in the vaginal tract are responsible for preventing from infection of pathogens such as Candida albicans.

Microbial interaction in the environment

1: Animal-microbes interaction;

This is the mutual relation with the microorganism. Although plants are the main source of food, they do not produce cellulose digestive enzymes by themselves. Microbial compression is which are present in the rumen at the stomach of animal produce cellulose digestive enzymes. That microorganism digests the plant's materials i.e cellulose and also provide constant temperature. Ruminant animals are also helpful for microbes. In this case, bactericides and Ruminococcous species are present in the lumen of the stomach.

2: Microbes-plants interaction:

Root nodules of leguminous plant consist of nitrogen-fixing bacteria i.e Nitrosomonas species and Nitrobacterium. These bacteria fix the atmospheric nitrogen into nitrite and nitrate. Nitrite is again converted into nitrate only nitrate is utilized by the leguminous plant as fertilizer. It is one of the examples of microbes and plants interaction. This is also known as the symbiotic relation.

3: Microbes interact with the microorganism.

Penicillium species produce the penicillin which inhibits or suppresses the growth and development of other fungi and bacteria. In the same community or source both the organism cannot develop at the same time. The toxic activities of penicillin mask over the other microbe activity. This is known as antibiosis.

References:

Miller, Jr. G.T. Living in the Environment. Wadsworth Publication, 2003.

S.C., Santee. Environmental Science. India, New Center: New Center Book Agency (P) Ltd, 2004.

T., Richard. Environmental Science Towards a Sustainable Future. India: PHI (P) Ltd., 2008.

  • Neutralism describes the relationship between two species that interact but do not affect each other
  • Commensalism benefits one organism and the other organism is neither benefited nor harmed. It occurs when one organism takes benefits by interacting with another organism by which the host organism is not affected.
  • Mutualism is an interaction between two or more species, where species derive a mutual benefit, for example, an increased carrying capacity. 
  • Commensalism is a kind of negative interaction in which one population harms the other but in turn remain unaffected
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