Recycling effluent has become a bottleneck and an environmental risk associated with the regular production of bauxite via flotation and the sustainable development of the aluminum industry in China. To find a practical direction for biotreatment, the bacterial and archaeal communities in recycling effluents containing concentrate and tailings from bauxite flotation plants were investigated by a metagenomic sequencing method in association with the evaluated geochemical properties. The results showed that Paracoccus, Desulfomicrobium, Exiguobacterium, Tindallia, Ercella and Anoxynatronum were the primary bacterial genera and Methanothrix, Methanobacterium, Nitrososphaera and Methanosarcina were the dominant archaeal genera. Upon combining the microbial diversity and the geochemical properties of the two sample types, the microbial community containing Desulfomicrobium, Paracoccus, Tindallia, Methanobacterium, Methanothrix and Nitrososphaera was better adapted to the biodegradation of flotation collectors, and the microbial community consisting of Paracoccus, Exiguobacterium, Methanothrix and Methanobacterium was more efficient at hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) biodegradation. In addition, a large proportion of unclassified OTUs has indicated that recycling effluent is a worthy resource for isolating new strains from the Firmicutes phylum.
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