Next-generation sequencing showing potential leachate influence on bacterial communities around a landfill in China

Adharsh Rajasekar*, Raju Sekar, Eduardo Medina-Roldán, Jonathan Bridge, Charles K.S. Moy, Stephen Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of contaminated leachate on groundwater from landfills is well known, but the specific effects on bacterial consortia are less well-studied. Bacterial communities in a landfill and an urban site located in Suzhou, China, were studied using Illumina high-throughput sequencing. A total of 153 944 good-quality reads were produced and sequences assigned to 6388 operational taxonomic units. Bacterial consortia consisted of up to 16 phyla, including Proteobacteria (31.9%–94.9% at landfill, 25.1%–43.3% at urban sites), Actinobacteria (0%–28.7% at landfill, 9.9%–34.3% at urban sites), Bacteroidetes (1.4%–25.6% at landfill, 5.6%–7.8% at urban sites), Chloroflexi (0.4%– 26.5% at urban sites only), and unclassified bacteria. Pseudomonas was the dominant (67%–93%) genus in landfill leachate. Arsenic concentrations in landfill raw leachate (RL) (1.11 × 103 μg/L) and fresh leachate (FL2) (1.78 × 103 μg/L) and mercury concentrations in RL (10.9 μg/L) and FL2 (7.37 μg/L) exceeded Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration standards for leachate in landfills. The Shannon diversity index and Chao1 richness estimate showed RL and FL2 lacked richness and diversity when compared with other samples. This is consistent with stresses imposed by elevated arsenic and mercury and has implications for ecological site remediation by bio-remediation or natural attenuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-549
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Arsenic
  • Bacterial diversity
  • Landfill
  • Leachate
  • Pseudomonas

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