The impact of immigration on microbial community composition in full-scale anaerobic digesters

Kirkegaard, Rasmus H., McIlroy, Simon J., Kristensen, Jannie M., Nierychlo, Marta, Karst, Soren M., Dueholm, Morten S., Albertsen, Mads and Nielsen, Per H. (2017) The impact of immigration on microbial community composition in full-scale anaerobic digesters. Scientific Reports, 7 1: 9343. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09303-0

Author Kirkegaard, Rasmus H.
McIlroy, Simon J.
Kristensen, Jannie M.
Nierychlo, Marta
Karst, Soren M.
Dueholm, Morten S.
Albertsen, Mads
Nielsen, Per H.
Title The impact of immigration on microbial community composition in full-scale anaerobic digesters
Journal name Scientific Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication date 2017-08-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-09303-0
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 1
Start page 9343
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 1000 General
Abstract Anaerobic digestion is widely applied to treat organic waste at wastewater treatment plants. Characterisation of the underlying microbiology represents a source of information to develop strategies for improved operation. Hence, we investigated microbial communities of thirty-two full-scale anaerobic digesters over a six-year period using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Sampling of the sludge fed into these systems revealed that several of the most abundant populations were likely inactive and immigrating with the influent. This observation indicates that a failure to consider immigration will interfere with correlation analysis and give an inaccurate picture of the growing microbial community. Furthermore, several abundant OTUs could not be classified to genus level with commonly applied taxonomies, making inference of their function unreliable and comparison to other studies problematic. As such, the existing MiDAS taxonomy was updated to include these abundant phylotypes. The communities of individual digesters surveyed were remarkably similar - with only 300 OTUs representing 80% of the total reads across all plants, and 15% of these identified as non-growing and possibly inactive immigrating microbes. By identifying abundant and growing taxa in anaerobic digestion, this study paves the way for targeted characterisation of the process-important organisms towards an in-depth understanding of the microbiology.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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