Assessment of active methanogenic archaea in a methanol-fed upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor
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Methanogenic archaea enrichment of a granular sludge was undertaken in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor fed with methanol in order to enrich methylotrophic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenic populations. A microbial community assessment, in terms of microbial composition and activity—throughout the different stages of the feeding process with methanol and acetate—was performed using specific methanogenic activity (SMA) assays, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and high-throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from DNA and complementary DNA (cDNA). Distinct methanogenic enrichment was revealed by qPCR of mcrA gene in the methanol-fed community, being two orders of magnitude higher with respect to the initial inoculum, achieving a final mcrA/16S rRNA ratio of 0.25. High-throughput sequencing analysis revealed that the resulting methanogenic population was mainly composed by methylotrophic archaea (Methanomethylovorans and Methanolobus genus), being also highly active according to the RNA-based assessment. SMA confirmed that the methylotrophic pathway, with a direct conversion of methanol to CH4, was the main step of methanol degradation in the UASB. The biomass from the UASB, enriched in methanogenic archaea, may bear great potential as additional inoculum for bioreactors to carry out biogas production and other related processes.
CitationCerrillo, M., Morey, L., Viñas , M., Bonmatí, A. Assessment of active methanogenic archaea in a methanol-fed upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. "Applied microbiology and biotechnology", 1 Desembre 2016, vol. 100, núm. 23, p. 10137-10146.