Hydrogen-Fueled Microbial Pathways in Biogas Upgrading Systems Revealed by Genome-Centric Metagenomics

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2018

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Biogas upgrading via carbon dioxide hydrogenation is an emerging technology for electrofuel production. The biomethanation efficiency is strongly dependent on a balanced microbial consortium, whose high- resolution characterization along with their functional potential and interactions are pivotal for process optimization. The present work is the first genome-centric metagenomic study on mesophilic and thermophilic biogas upgrading reactors aiming to define the metabolic profile of more than 200 uncultivated microbes involved in hydrogen assisted methanogenesis. The outcomes from predictive functional analyses were correlated with microbial abundance variations to clarify the effect of process parameters on the community. The operational temperature significantly influenced the microbial richness of the reactors, while the H2 addition distinctively alternated the abundance of the taxa. Two different Methanoculleus species (one mesophilic and one thermophilic) were identified as the main responsible ones for methane metabolism. Finally, it was demonstrated that the addition of H2 exerted a selective pressure on the concerted or syntrophic interactions of specific microbes functionally related to carbon fixation, propionate and butanoate metabolisms. Novel bacteria were identified as candidate syntrophic acetate oxidizers (e.g., Tepidanaerobacter sp. DTU063), while the addition of H2 favored the proliferation of potential homoacetogens (e.g., Clostridia sp. DTU183). Population genomes encoding genes of Wood-Ljungdahl pathway were mainly thermophilic, while propionate degraders were mostly identified at mesophilic conditions. Finally, putative syntrophic interactions were identified between microbes that have either versatile metabolic abilities or are obligate/facultative syntrophs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1079
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume9
Number of pages16
ISSN1664-302X
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 2

    Research areas

  • Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas upgrade, Mesophilic, Thermophilic, Metagenomics, Methanogens, Syntrophs, Metabolic reconstruction
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