The ecology of Bdellovibrio and like organisms in wastewater treatment plants

Edouard Jurkevitch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) are obligate predators of gram negative bacteria, for which they have an absolute requirement in order to replicate and complete their life cycle. This peculiar life style profoundly affects their physiology and cellular biology and defines their ecology. BALOs are ubiquitous in soils and in water bodies; while they are not numerically dominant, they can be abundant and diverse. Among the water bodies, BALOs inhabit wastewater treatment plant reactors (WWTP) as well as other schemes where water is recycled. Their capacity to prey upon gram negative bacteria and their semi-generalist feeding suggest that they may play important roles in bacterial biomass turnover and in the reduction of numerous pathogens in these environments. This chapter first introduces the BALO’s life cycle, and features of their ecology and dynamics. It then presents our understanding of BALO community structure and dynamics under varying conditions in WWTPs, detailing latest research studies showing that BALO abundance is greatly influenced by the type of treatment applied to the wastewater. It ends by presenting open questions on our understanding of BALO effects on bacterial communities and by suggesting novels ways to address these questions, considering their capacity to improve wastewater treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Ecology of Predation at the Microscale
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783030455996
ISBN (Print)9783030455989
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


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