16s rRNA gene sequencing and radioisotopic analysis reveal the composition of ammonia acclimatized methanogenic consortia

Hailin Tian, Laura Treu, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Ioannis Fotidis*, Irini Angelidaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Different mesophilic and thermophilic methanogenic consortia were acclimatised and enriched to extreme total ammonia (9.0 and 5.0 g NH4+-N L-1, respectively) and free ammonia (1.0 and 1.4 g NH3-N L-1, respectively) levels in this study. [2-14C] acetate radioisotopic analyses showed the dominance of aceticlastic methanogenesis in all enriched consortia. According to 16S rRNA gene sequencing result, in mesophilic consortia, methylotrophic Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis was predominant, followed by aceticlastic Methanosarcina soligelidi. A possible scenario explaining the dominance of M. luminyensis includes the use of methylamine produced by Tissierella spp. and biomass build-up by metabolizing acetate. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to pinpoint the exact metabolic pathway of M. luminyensis. In thermophilic consortia, aceticlastic Methanosarcina thermophila was the sole dominant methanogen. Overall, results derived from this study demonstrated the efficient biomethanation ability of these ammonia-tolerant methanogenic consortia, indicating a potential application of these consortia to solve ammonia toxicity problems in future full-scale reactors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Pages (from-to)54-62
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Enriched culture
  • Methanogenic pathway
  • Ammonia-tolerant microbial community
  • Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis

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