Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol.106, No.3, 952-966, 2009
The structure of the bacterial and archaeal community in a biogas digester as revealed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rDNA sequencing analysis
To identify the bacterial and archaeal composition in a mesophilic biogas digester treating pig manure and to compare the consistency of two 16S rDNA-based methods to investigate the microbial structure. Sixty-nine bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTU) and 25 archaeal OTU were identified by sequencing two 16S rDNA clone libraries. Most bacterial OTU were identified as phyla of Firmicutes (47.2% of total clones), Bacteroides (35.4%) and Spirochaetes (13.2%). Methanoculleus bourgensis (29.0%), Methanosarcina barkeri (27.4%) and Methanospirillum hungatei (10.8%) were the dominant methanogens. Only 9% of bacterial and 20% of archaeal OTU matched cultured isolates at a similarity index of >= 97%. About 78% of the dominant bacterial (with abundance > 3%) and 83% of archaeal OTU were recovered from the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) bands of V3 regions in 16S rDNAs. In the digester, most bacterial and archaeal species were uncultured; bacteria belonging to Firmicutes, Bacteroides and Spirochaetes seem to take charge of cellulolysis, proteolysis, acidogenesis, sulfur-reducing and homoacetogenesis; the most methanogens were typical hydrogenotrophic or hydrogenotrophic/aceticlastic; DGGE profiles reflected the dominant microbiota. This study gave a first insight of the overall microbial structure in a rural biogas digester and also indicated DGGE was useful in displaying its dominant microbiota.