Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Although anaerobic digestion for biogas production is used worldwide in treatment processes to recover energy from carbon-rich waste such as cellulosic biomass, the activities and interactions among the microbial populations that perform anaerobic digestion deserve further investigations, especially at the population genome level. To understand the cellulosic biomass-degrading potentials in two full-scale digesters, this study examined five methanogenic enrichment cultures derived from the digesters that anaerobically digested cellulose or xylan for more than 2 years under 35 or 55 °C conditions.<h4>Results</h4>Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics were used to capture the active microbial populations in each enrichment culture and reconstruct their meta-metabolic network and ecological roles. 107 population genomes were reconstructed from the five enrichment cultures using a differential coverage binning approach, of which only a subset was highly transcribed in the metatranscriptomes. Phylogenetic and functional convergence of communities by enrichment condition and phase of fermentation was observed for the highly transcribed populations in the metatranscriptomes. In the 35 °C cultures grown on cellulose, <i>Clostridium cellulolyticum</i>-related and <i>Ruminococcus</i>-related bacteria were identified as major hydrolyzers and primary fermenters in the early growth phase, while <i>Clostridium leptum</i>-related bacteria were major secondary fermenters and potential fatty acid scavengers in the late growth phase. While the meta-metabolism and trophic roles of the cultures were similar, the bacterial populations performing each function were distinct between the enrichment conditions.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Overall, a population genome-centric view of the meta-metabolism and functional roles of key active players in anaerobic digestion of cellulosic biomass was obtained. This study represents a major step forward towards understanding the microbial functions and interactions at population genome level during the microbial conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to methane. The knowledge of this study can facilitate development of potential biomarkers and rational design of the microbiome in anaerobic digesters.
Project description:Biogas production is a biotechnological process realized by complex bacterial, archaeal and likely fungal communities. Their composition was assessed in nine full-scale biogas plants with distinctly differing feedstock input and process parameters. This study investigated the actually active microbial community members by using a comprehensive sequencing approach based on ribosomal 16S and 28S rRNA fragments. The prevailing taxonomical units of each respective community were subsequently linked to process parameters. Ribosomal rRNA of bacteria, archaea and fungi, respectively, showed different compositions with respect to process parameters and supplied feedstocks: (i) bacterial communities were affected by the key factors temperature and ammonium concentration; (ii) composition of archaea was mainly related to process temperature; and (iii) relative abundance of fungi was linked to feedstocks supplied to the digesters. Anaerobic digesters with a high methane yield showed remarkably similar bacterial communities regarding identified taxonomic families. Although archaeal communities differed strongly on genus level from each other, the respective digesters still showed high methane yields. Functional redundancy of the archaeal communities may explain this effect. 28S rRNA sequences of fungi in all nine full-scale anaerobic digesters were primarily classified as facultative anaerobic Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Since the presence of ribosomal 28S rRNA indicates that fungi may be active in the biogas digesters, further research should be carried out to examine to which extent they are important players in anaerobic digestion processes.
Project description:The microbial-mediated anaerobic digestion (AD) process represents an efficient biological process for the treatment of organic waste along with biogas harvest. Currently, the key factors structuring bacterial communities and the potential core and unique bacterial populations in manure anaerobic digesters are not completely elucidated yet. In this study, we collected sludge samples from 20 full-scale anaerobic digesters treating cattle or swine manure, and investigated the variations of bacterial community compositions using high-throughput 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Clustering and correlation analysis suggested that substrate type and free ammonia (FA) play key roles in determining the bacterial community structure. The COD: [Formula: see text] (C:N) ratio of substrate and FA were the most important available operational parameters correlating to the bacterial communities in cattle and swine manure digesters, respectively. The bacterial populations in all of the digesters were dominated by phylum Firmicutes, followed by Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi. Increased FA content selected Firmicutes, suggesting that they probably play more important roles under high FA content. Syntrophic metabolism by Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Synergistetes and Planctomycetes are likely inhibited when FA content is high. Despite the different manure substrates, operational conditions and geographical locations of digesters, core bacterial communities were identified. The core communities were best characterized by phylum Firmicutes, wherein Clostridium predominated overwhelmingly. Substrate-unique and abundant communities may reflect the properties of manure substrate and operational conditions. These findings extend our current understanding of the bacterial assembly in full-scale manure anaerobic digesters.
Project description:Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) degradation is an important process in methanogenic ecosystems, and is usually catalyzed by SCFA-oxidizing bacteria in syntrophy with methanogens. Current knowledge of this functional guild is mainly based on isolates or enrichment cultures, but these may not reflect the true diversity and in situ activities of the syntrophs predominating in full-scale systems. Here we obtained 182 medium to high quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from the microbiome of two full-scale anaerobic digesters. The transcriptomic response of individual MAG was studied after stimulation with low concentrations of acetate, propionate, or butyrate, separately. The most pronounced response to butyrate was observed for two MAGs of the recently described genus Candidatus Phosphitivorax (phylum Desulfobacterota), expressing a butyrate beta-oxidation pathway. For propionate, the largest response was observed for an MAG of a novel genus in the family Pelotomaculaceae, transcribing a methylmalonyl-CoA pathway. All three species were common in anaerobic digesters at Danish wastewater treatment plants as shown by amplicon analysis, and this is the first time their syntrophic features involved in SCFA oxidation were revealed with transcriptomic evidence. Further, they also possessed unique genomic features undescribed in well-characterized syntrophs, including the metabolic pathways for phosphite oxidation, nitrite and sulfate reduction.
Project description:Anaerobic digestion is widely applied to treat organic waste at wastewater treatment plants. Characterisation of the underlying microbiology represents a source of information to develop strategies for improved operation. Hence, we investigated microbial communities of thirty-two full-scale anaerobic digesters over a six-year period using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Sampling of the sludge fed into these systems revealed that several of the most abundant populations were likely inactive and immigrating with the influent. This observation indicates that a failure to consider immigration will interfere with correlation analysis and give an inaccurate picture of the growing microbial community. Furthermore, several abundant OTUs could not be classified to genus level with commonly applied taxonomies, making inference of their function unreliable and comparison to other studies problematic. As such, the existing MiDAS taxonomy was updated to include these abundant phylotypes. The communities of individual digesters surveyed were remarkably similar - with only 300 OTUs representing 80% of the total reads across all plants, and 15% of these identified as non-growing and possibly inactive immigrating microbes. By identifying abundant and growing taxa in anaerobic digestion, this study paves the way for targeted characterisation of the process-important organisms towards an in-depth understanding of the microbiology.
Project description:This study examined whether the abundance and expression of microbial 16S rRNA genes were associated with elemental concentrations and substrate conversion biokinetics in 20 full-scale anaerobic digesters, including seven municipal sewage sludge (SS) digesters and 13 industrial codigesters. SS digester contents had higher methane production rates from acetate, propionate and phenyl acetate compared to industrial codigesters. SS digesters and industrial codigesters were distinctly clustered based on their elemental concentrations, with higher concentrations of NH3 -N, Cl, K and Na observed in codigesters. Amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and reverse-transcribed 16S rRNA revealed divergent grouping of microbial communities between mesophilic SS digesters, mesophilic codigesters and thermophilic digesters. Higher intradigester distances between Archaea 16S rRNA and rRNA gene profiles were observed in mesophilic codigesters, which also had the lowest acetate utilization biokinetics. Constrained ordination showed that microbial rRNA and rRNA gene profiles were significantly associated with maximum methane production rates from acetate, propionate, oleate and phenyl acetate, as well as concentrations of NH3 -N, Fe, S, Mo and Ni. A co-occurrence network of rRNA gene expression confirmed the three main clusters of anaerobic digester communities based on active populations. Syntrophic and methanogenic taxa were highly represented within the subnetworks, indicating that obligate energy-sharing partnerships play critical roles in stabilizing the digester microbiome. Overall, these results provide new evidence showing that different feed substrates associate with different micronutrient compositions in anaerobic digesters, which in turn may influence microbial abundance, activity and function.
Project description:Anaerobic digestion is a popular and effective microbial process for waste treatment. The performance of anaerobic digestion processes is contingent on the balance of the microbial food web in utilizing various substrates. Recently, co-digestion, i.e., supplementing the primary substrate with an organic-rich co-substrate has been exploited to improve waste treatment efficiency. Yet the potential effects of elevated organic loading on microbial functional gene community remains elusive. In this study, functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) was used to assess the response of microbial community to the addition of poultry waste in anaerobic digesters treating dairy manure. Consistent with 16S rRNA gene sequences data, GeoChip data showed that microbial community compositions were significantly shifted in favor of copiotrophic populations by co-digestion, as taxa with higher rRNA gene copy number such as Bacilli were enriched. The acetoclastic methanogen Methanosarcina was also enriched, while Methanosaeta was unaltered but more abundant than Methanosarcina throughout the study period. The microbial functional diversity involved in anaerobic digestion were also increased under co-digestion. Overall design: There were two sets of anaerobic digesters. Three control digesters were fed with dairy manure and the organic loading rate kept constant. The three treatment digesters were fed with poultry waste in addition to dairy manure, resulting in step-wise increase in the organic loading rate. Sludge samples were taken at different time points from the six digesters.
Project description:Biogas plants are a widespread renewable energy technology. However, the use of digestate for agronomic purposes has often been a matter of concern. It is controversial whether biogas plants might harbor some pathogenic clostridial species, which represent a biological risk. Moreover, the inhabitance of Clostridium hard-cheese spoiling species in anaerobic digesters can be problematic for hard-cheese manufacturing industries, due to the issue of cheese blowing defects. This study investigated the effect of mesophilic anaerobic digestion processes on the Clostridium consortia distribution over time. Specifically, three lab-scale CSTRs treating agricultural biomass were characterized by considering both the whole microbial community and the cultivable clostridial spores. It is assessed an overall reduction of the Clostridium genus during the anaerobic digestion process. Moreover, it was evidenced a slight, but steady decrease of the cultivable clostridial spores, mainly represented by two pathogenic species, C. perfringens and C. bifermentans, and one hard-cheese spoiling species, C. butyricum. Thus, it is revealed an overall reduction of the clostridial population abundance after the mesophilic anaerobic digestion treatment of agricultural biomass.
Project description:Members of the candidate phylum Hyd24-12 are globally distributed, but no genomic information or knowledge about their morphology, physiology or ecology is available. In this study, members of the Hyd24-12 lineage were shown to be present and abundant in full-scale mesophilic anaerobic digesters at Danish wastewater treatment facilities. In some samples, a member of the Hyd24-12 lineage was one of the most abundant genus-level bacterial taxa, accounting for up to 8% of the bacterial biomass. Three closely related and near-complete genomes were retrieved using metagenome sequencing of full-scale anaerobic digesters. Genome annotation and metabolic reconstruction showed that they are Gram-negative bacteria likely involved in acidogenesis, producing acetate and hydrogen from fermentation of sugars, and may play a role in the cycling of sulphur in the digesters. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed single rod-shaped cells dispersed within the flocs. The genomic information forms a foundation for a more detailed understanding of their role in anaerobic digestion and provides the first insight into a hitherto undescribed branch in the tree of life.