MiDAS: Field Guide to the Microbes of
Activated Sludge

The MiDAS database is as a central collaborative workspace, available for researchers and wastewater treatment practitioners, to facilitate a better understanding of the microbial ecology of the engineered ecosystem of activated sludge and related wastewater treatment systems. The ambition of the field guide is to summarise all the knowledge about the ecology of the important microorganisms present in these systems. Integral to this goal is the ability to link an organism’s name with its putative function. Additionally, we have developed the MiDAS taxonomy (available to download), which is a manual curation of the 16S rRNA gene sequence based SILVA taxonomy that proposes a name for all genus-level taxa observed to be abundant by large-scale amplicon sequencing of full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plant communities. The taxonomy can be used to classify unknown sequences, and the online MiDAS field guide links the identity to a referenced summary of their in situ metabolism, morphotype and distribution, in these systems. The goal is to provide a common taxonomy for the field that will provide a solid foundation for the study of microbial ecology of the activated sludge process and related treatment processes.


Start browsing your microbes now!



25 August 2016
We are including microorganisms found in anaerobic digesters and influent wastewater in our database

07 September 2015
Find out more about official release and download new version of MiDAS taxonomy

27 October 2014
Check them out!

The online MiDAS field guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


The MiDAS taxonomy is a manual curation of the Silva database and is redistributed for non-commercial use only.


Citing MiDAS: McIlroy S.J., Saunders A.M., Albertsen M., Nierychlo M., McIlroy B., Hansen A.A., Karst S.M., Nielsen J.L., Nielsen P.H. (2015) MiDAS: the field guide to the microbes of activated sludge. Database, Vol. 2015

Contact us at mail@midasfieldguide.org