Anaerobic digestion of pig manure supernatant at high ammonia concentrations characterized by high abundances of Methanosaeta and non-euryarchaeotal archaea.
ABSTRACT: We examined the effect of ammonium and temperature on methane production in high rate upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors treating pig manure supernatant. We operated four reactors at two ammonium concentrations ('low' at 1.9, 'high' at 3.7?g?L-1, termed LA and HA reactors, respectively) and at variable temperatures over 358 days. Archaeal and bacterial communities were characterized by Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons. Ammonium was a major selective factor for bacterial and archaeal community structure. After ~200 days of adaptation to high ammonium levels, acetate and propionate removal and methane production improved substantially in HA reactors. Aceticlastic Methanosaeta was abundant and positively correlated to methane yield in the HA reactors, whereas Methanosarcina was more abundant in LA reactors. Furthermore, a group of monophyletic OTUs that was related to Thaumarchaeota in phylogenetic analysis was highly abundant in the archaeal communities, particularly in the HA reactors. The most abundant bacterial OTU in LA reactors, representing Syntrophomonadaceae, was also positively correlated to methane yield in the HA reactors, indicating its importance in methane production under ammonia stress. In conclusion, efficient methane production, involving aceticlastic methanogenesis by Methanosaeta took place in the reactors at free ammonia concentrations as high as 1?g?L-1.
Project description:Among methanogens, only 2 genera, Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina, are known to contribute to methanogenesis from acetate, and Methanosaeta is a specialist that uses acetate specifically. However, Methanosaeta strains so far have mainly been isolated from anaerobic digesters, despite the fact that it is widespread, not only in anaerobic methanogenic reactors and freshwater environments, but also in marine environments, based upon extensive 16S rRNA gene-cloning analyses. In this study, we isolated an aceticlastic methanogen, designated strain 03d30q(T), from a tidal flat sediment. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA and mcrA genes revealed that the isolate belongs to the genus Methanosaeta. Unlike the other known Methanosaeta species, this isolate grows at Na(+) concentrations of 0.20 to 0.80 M, with an optimum concentration of 0.28 M. Quantitative estimation using real-time PCR detected the 16S rRNA gene of the genus Methanosaeta in the marine sediment, and relative abundance ranged from 3.9% to 11.8% of the total archaeal 16S rRNA genes. In addition, the number of Methanosaeta organisms increased with increasing depth and was much higher than that of Methanosarcina organisms, suggesting that aceticlastic methanogens contribute to acetate metabolism to a greater extent than previously thought in marine environments, where sulfate-reducing acetate oxidation prevails. This is the first report on marine Methanosaeta species, and based on phylogenetic and characteristic studies, the name "Methanosaeta pelagica" sp. nov. is proposed for this novel species, with type strain 03d30q.
Project description:Knowledge of the microbial consortia participating in the generation of biogas, especially in methane formation, is still limited. To overcome this limitation, the methanogenic archaeal communities in six full-scale biogas plants supplied with different liquid manures and renewable raw materials as substrates were analyzed by a polyphasic approach. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was carried out to quantify the methanogenic Archaea in the reactor samples. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) was used to support and complete the FISH analysis. Five of the six biogas reactors were dominated by hydrogenotrophic Methanomicrobiales. The average values were between 60 to 63% of archaeal cell counts (FISH) and 61 to 99% of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copies (Q-PCR). Within this order, Methanoculleus was found to be the predominant genus as determined by amplified rRNA gene restriction analysis. The aceticlastic family Methanosaetaceae was determined to be the dominant methanogenic group in only one biogas reactor, with average values for Q-PCR and FISH between 64% and 72%. Additionally, in three biogas reactors hitherto uncharacterized but potentially methanogenic species were detected. They showed closest accordance with nucleotide sequences of the hitherto unclassified CA-11 (85%) and ARC-I (98%) clusters. These results point to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis as a predominant pathway for methane synthesis in five of the six analyzed biogas plants. In addition, a correlation between the absence of Methanosaetaceae in the biogas reactors and high concentrations of total ammonia (sum of NH(3) and NH(4)(+)) was observed.
Project description:Rice paddies in central Thailand are flooded either by irrigation (irrigated rice) or by rain (rain-fed rice). The paddy soils and their microbial communities thus experience permanent or arbitrary submergence, respectively. Since methane production depends on anaerobic conditions, we hypothesized that structure and function of the methanogenic microbial communities are different in irrigated and rain-fed paddies and react differently upon desiccation stress. We determined rates and relative proportions of hydrogenotrophic and aceticlastic methanogenesis before and after short-term drying of soil samples from replicate fields. The methanogenic pathway was determined by analyzing concentrations and ?13C of organic carbon and of CH4 and CO2 produced in the presence and absence of methyl fluoride, an inhibitor of aceticlastic methanogenesis. We also determined the abundance (qPCR) of genes and transcripts of bacterial 16S rRNA, archaeal 16S rRNA and methanogenic mcrA (coding for a subunit of the methyl coenzyme M reductase) and the composition of these microbial communities by T-RFLP fingerprinting and/or Illumina deep sequencing. The abundances of genes and transcripts were similar in irrigated and rain-fed paddy soil. They also did not change much upon desiccation and rewetting, except the transcripts of mcrA, which increased by more than two orders of magnitude. In parallel, rates of CH4 production also increased, in rain-fed soil more than in irrigated soil. The contribution of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis increased in rain-fed soil and became similar to that in irrigated soil. However, the relative microbial community composition on higher taxonomic levels was similar between irrigated and rain-fed soil. On the other hand, desiccation and subsequent anaerobic reincubation resulted in systematic changes in the composition of microbial communities for both Archaea and Bacteria. It is noteworthy that differences in the community composition were mostly detected on the level of operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 97% sequence similarity). The treatments resulted in change of the relative abundance of several archaeal OTUs. Some OTUs of Methanobacterium, Methanosaeta, Methanosarcina, Methanocella and Methanomassiliicoccus increased, while some of Methanolinea and Methanosaeta decreased. Bacterial OTUs within Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, Planctomycetes and Deltaproteobacteria increased, while OTUs within other proteobacterial classes decreased.
Project description:The current knowledge regarding the effect of global climate change on rice-paddy methane (CH4) emissions is incomplete, partly because information is limited concerning the mechanism of the microbial response to elevated ground-level ozone (O3). A field experiment was conducted in the China Ozone Free-Air Concentration Enrichment facility in a rice-wheat rotation system to investigate the responses of methanogenic archaeal communities to elevated ground-level O3 by culture-independent and -reliant approaches. We found that elevated ground-level O3 inhibited methanogenic activity and influenced the composition of paddy methanogenic communities, reducing the abundance and diversity of paddy methanogens by adversely affecting dominant groups, such as aceticlastic Methanosaeta, especially at the rice tillering stage. Our results indicated that continuously elevated ground-level O3 would negatively influence paddy methanogenic archaeal communities and its critical ecological function. These findings will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the responses and feedbacks of paddy ecosystems to global climate change.
Project description:Inhibition effect of humic acid (HA) on anaerobic digestion of cellulose and xylan and the mitigation potential of the inhibition were evaluated in controlled fed batch reactors at 30 °C and a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20 days. Reactor performances were evaluated by biogas production and metabolite measurements for 220 days. Microbial population dynamics of the reactors were monitored with next-generation 16S rRNA gene sequencing at nine different sampling times. Our results showed that increasing levels of HA inhibited the hydrolysis efficiency of the digestion by 40% and concomitantly reduced the methane yield. Addition of hydrolytic enzymes helped to reverse the negative effects of HA, whereas calcium addition did not reverse HA inhibition. Microbiological analyses showed that the relative abundance of hydrolytic/fermentative bacterial groups such as Clostridiales, Bacteroidales and Anaerolineales was significantly lowered by the presence of HA. HA also affected the archaeal populations. Mostly hydrogenotrophic methanogens were negatively affected by HA. The relative abundance of Methanobacteriaceae, Methanomicrobiales-WCHA208 and Unassigned Thermoplasmata WCHA1-57 were negatively affected by the presence of HA, whereas Methanosaetacea was not affected.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Volatile fatty acid intoxication (acidosis), a common process failure recorded in anaerobic reactors, leads to drastic losses in methane production. Unfortunately, little is known about the microbial mechanisms underlining acidosis and the potential to recover the process. In this study, triplicate mesophilic anaerobic reactors of 100 L were exposed to acidosis resulting from an excessive feeding with sugar beet pulp and were compared to a steady-state reactor. RESULTS:Stable operational conditions at the beginning of the experiment initially led to similar microbial populations in the four reactors, as revealed by 16S rRNA gene T-RFLP and high-throughput amplicon sequencing. Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were the two dominant phyla, and although they were represented by a high number of operational taxonomic units, only a few were dominant. Once the environment became deterministic (selective pressure from an increased substrate feeding), microbial populations started to diverge between the overfed reactors. Interestingly, most of bacteria and archaea showed redundant functional adaptation to the changing environmental conditions. However, the dominant Bacteroidales were resistant to high volatile fatty acids content and low pH. The severe acidosis did not eradicate archaea and a clear shift in archaeal populations from acetotrophic to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis occurred in the overfed reactors. After 11 days of severe acidosis (pH 5.2 ± 0.4), the process was quickly recovered (restoration of the biogas production with methane content above 50 %) in the overfed reactors, by adjusting the pH to around 7 using NaOH and NaHCO3. CONCLUSIONS:In this study we show that once the replicate reactors are confronted with sub-optimal conditions, their microbial populations start to evolve differentially. Furthermore the alterations of commonly used microbial parameters to monitor the process, such as richness, evenness and diversity indices were unsuccessful to predict the process failure. At the same time, we tentatively propose the replacement of the dominant Methanosaeta sp. in this case by Methanoculleus sp., to be a potential warning indicator of acidosis.
Project description:Numerous observations indicate a high flexibility of microbial communities in different biogas reactors during anaerobic digestion. Here, we describe the functional redundancy and structural changes of involved microbial communities in four lab-scale continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs, 39°C, 12?L volume) supplied with different mixtures of maize silage (MS) and sugar beet silage (SBS) over 80 days. Continuously stirred tank reactors were fed with mixtures of MS and SBS in volatile solid ratios of 1:0 (Continuous Fermenter (CF) 1), 6:1 (CF2), 3:1 (CF3), 1:3 (CF4) with equal organic loading rates (OLR 1.25?kgVS?m(-3) ?d(-1) ) and showed similar biogas production rates in all reactors. The compositions of bacterial and archaeal communities were analysed by 454 amplicon sequencing approach based on 16S rRNA genes. Both bacterial and archaeal communities shifted with increasing amounts of SBS. Especially pronounced were changes in the archaeal composition towards Methanosarcina with increasing proportion of SBS, while Methanosaeta declined simultaneously. Compositional shifts within the microbial communities did not influence the respective biogas production rates indicating that these communities adapted to environmental conditions induced by different feedstock mixtures. The diverse microbial communities optimized their metabolism in a way that ensured efficient biogas production.
Project description:Methanosaeta spp. are widely distributed in natural environments, and their filamentous cells contribute significantly to sludge granulation and the good performance of anaerobic reactors. A previous study indicated that Methanosaeta harundinacea 6Ac displays a quorum sensing-regulated morphological transition from short to long filaments, and more acetate is channeled into methane production in long filaments, whereas more is channeled into biomass synthesis in short filaments. Here, we performed transcriptomic and physiological analysis to gain insights into active methanogenesis in long filaments of M. harundinacea 6Ac. Both RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR indicated that transcription of the genes involved in aceticlastic methanogenesis and energy metabolism was upregulated 1.2- to 10.3-fold in long filaments, while transcription of the genes for the methyl oxidative shunt was upregulated in short filaments. [2-(13)C]acetate trace experiments demonstrated that a relatively higher portion of the acetate methyl group was oxidized to CO2 in short filaments than in long filaments. The long filaments exhibited higher catalase activity and oxygen tolerance than the short ones, which is consistent with increased transcription of the oxidant-scavenging genes. Moreover, transcription of genes for cell surface structures was upregulated in the long filaments, and transmission electron microscopy revealed a thicker cell envelope in the filaments. RNA-seq determined a >2-fold upregulation of a variety of antistress genes in short filaments, like those encoding chaperones and DNA repair systems, which implies that the short filaments can be stressed. This study reveals the genetic basis for the prevalence of the long filamentous morphology of M. harundinacea cells in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket granules.
Project description:Tropical epiphytic plants within the family Bromeliaceae are unusual in that they possess foliage capable of retaining water and impounded material. This creates an acidic (pH 3.5-6.5) and anaerobic (<1?ppm O(2)) environment suspended in the canopy. Results from a Costa Rican rainforest show that most bromeliads (n?=?75/86) greater than ~20?cm in plant height or ~4-5?cm tank depth, showed presence of methanogens within the lower anoxic horizon of the tank. Archaea were dominated by methanogens (77-90% of recovered ribotypes) and community structure, although variable, was generally comprised of a single type, closely related to either hydrogenotrophic Methanoregula or Methanocella, a specific clade of aceticlastic Methanosaeta, or Methanosarcina. Juvenile bromeliads, or those species, such as Guzmania, with shallow tanks, generally did not possess methanogens, as assayed by polymerase chain reaction specific for methanogen 16S rRNA genes, nor did artificial catchments (~100?ml volume), in place 6-12?months prior to sample collection. Methanogens were not detected in soil (n?=?20), except in one case, in which the dominant ribotype was different from nearby bromeliads. Recovery of methyl coenzyme M reductase genes supported the occurrence of hydrogenotrophic and aceticlastic methanogens within bromeliad tanks, as well as the trend, via QPCR analysis of mcrA, of increased methanogenic capacity with increased plant height. Methane production rates of up to 300?nmol CH(4)?ml tank water(-1)?day(-1) were measured in microcosm experiments. These results suggest that bromeliad-associated archaeal communities may play an important role in the cycling of carbon in neotropical forests.
Project description:Fluorescence in situ hybridization has shown that cells labeled with an Archaea-specific probe (ARCH915) accounted for approximately 10% of the total cell count in oil-contaminated groundwater accumulated at the bottom of an underground crude oil storage cavity. Although chemical analyses have revealed vigorous consumption of nitrate in cavity groundwater, the present study found that the methane production rate was higher than the nitrate consumption rate. To characterize the likely archaeal populations responsible for methane production in this system, fragments of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were amplified by PCR using eight different combinations of universal and Archaea-specific primers. Sequence analysis of 324 clones produced 23 different archaeal sequence types, all of which were affiliated with the kingdom EURYARCHAEOTA: Among them, five sequence types (KuA1, KuA6, KuA12, KuA16, and KuA22) were obtained in abundance. KuA1 and KuA6 were closely related to the known methanogens Methanosaeta concilii (99% identical) and Methanomethylovorans hollandica (98%), respectively. Although no closely related organism was found for KuA12, it could be affiliated with the family METHANOMICROBIACEAE: KuA16 and KuA22 showed substantial homology only to some environmental clones. Both of these branched deeply in the Euryarchaeota, and may represent novel orders. Quantitative competitive PCR showed that KuA12 was the most abundant, accounting for approximately 50% of the total archaeal rDNA copies detected. KuA1 and KuA16 also constituted significant proportions of the total archaeal rDNA copies (7 and 17%, respectively). These results suggest that limited species of novel archaea were enriched in the oil storage cavity. An estimate of specific methane production rates suggests that they were active methanogens.