Dynamic functional characterization and phylogenetic changes due to Long Chain Fatty Acids pulses in biogas reactors

Panagiotis Kougias, Laura Treu, Stefano Campanaro, Xinyu Zhu, Irini Angelidaki

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Abstract

The process stability of biogas plants is often deteriorated by the accumulation of Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA). The microbial community shifts due to LCFA disturbances have been poorly understood as the molecular techniques used were not able to identify the genome characteristics of uncultured microorganisms, and additionally, the presence of limited number of reference genomes in public databases prevented the comprehension of specific functional roles characterizing these microorganisms. The present study is the first research which deciphers by means of high throughput shotgun sequencing the dynamics of the microbial community during an inhibitory shock load induced by single pulses of unsaturated LCFA at two different concentrations (i.e. 2 g/L-reactor and 3 g/L-reactor). The metagenomic analysis showed that only the microbes associated with LCFA degradation could encode proteins related to "chemotaxis" and "flagellar assembly", which promoted the ability to move towards the LCFA sources so as to degrade them. Moreover, the syntrophic interactions found between Syntrophomonas sp. together with Methanosarcina sp. were possibly assigned to the menaquinone-electron transfer. Finally, it was proven that a previously exposed to LCFA inoculum is more efficient in the degradation process of LCFA due to the specialization of the microbial consortium.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28810
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Number of pages10
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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