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Microorganisms 2018, 6(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6040103

Long-Term Biogas Production from Glycolate by Diverse and Highly Dynamic Communities

1
UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Environmental Microbiology, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2
Institute of Biology, University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 21–23, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Diversity of Anaerobic Microbial Communities)
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Abstract

Generating chemical energy carriers and bulk chemicals from solar energy by microbial metabolic capacities is a promising technology. In this long-term study of over 500 days, methane was produced by a microbial community that was fed by the mono-substrate glycolate, which was derived from engineered algae. The microbial community structure was measured on the single cell level using flow cytometry. Abiotic and operational reactor parameters were analyzed in parallel. The R-based tool flowCyBar facilitated visualization of community dynamics and indicated sub-communities involved in glycolate fermentation and methanogenesis. Cell sorting and amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes were used to identify the key organisms involved in the anaerobic conversion process. The microbial community allowed a constant fermentation, although it was sensitive to high glycolate concentrations in the feed. A linear correlation between glycolate loading rate and biogas amount was observed (R2 = 0.99) for glycolate loading rates up to 1.81 g L−1 day−1 with a maximum in biogas amount of 3635 mL day−1 encompassing 45% methane. The cytometric diversity remained high during the whole cultivation period. The dominating bacterial genera were Syntrophobotulus, Clostridia genus B55_F, Aminobacterium, and Petrimonas. Methanogenesis was almost exclusively performed by the hydrogenotrophic genus Methanobacterium. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial community dynamics; microbial flow cytometry; anaerobic digestion; glycolate-fermenting bacteria; methanogenic archaea microbial community dynamics; microbial flow cytometry; anaerobic digestion; glycolate-fermenting bacteria; methanogenic archaea
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Günther, S.; Becker, D.; Hübschmann, T.; Reinert, S.; Kleinsteuber, S.; Müller, S.; Wilhelm, C. Long-Term Biogas Production from Glycolate by Diverse and Highly Dynamic Communities. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 103.

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