Project description:Inhibition of the anaerobic digestion process through accumulation of volatile fatty acids (VFA) is a recurring problem which is the result of unbalanced growth between acidogenic bacteria and methanogens. A speedy recovery is essential for an establishment of a feasible economical biogas productions. Yet, little is known regarding the organisms participating in the recovery. In this study the organisms involved in the recovery were studied using protein-stable isotope probing (Protein-SIP) and mapping this data onto a binned metagenome. Under acetate-accumulated simulating conditions a formation of 13C-labeled CO2 and CH4 was detected immediately after the addition of [U-13C]acetate, indicative of a high turnover rate of acetate. Several labeled peptides were detected in protein-SIP analysis. These 13C-labeled peptides were mapped onto a binned metagenome for improved taxanomical classification of the organisms involved. The results revealed that Methanosarcina and Methanoculleus were actively involved in acetate turnover, as were five subspecies of Clostridia and one Bacteroidetes. The organisms affiliating with Clostridia and Bacteroidetes all contained the FTFHS gene for formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase, a key enzyme for reductive acetogenesis; indicating that these organisms are possible syntrophic acetate-oxidizing bacteria (SAOB) that can facilitate acetate consumption via syntrophic acetate oxidation coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis (SAO-HM). This study represents the first study applying protein-SIP for analysis of complex biogas samples, a promising method for identifying key microorganisms involved in specific pathways.