DNA-SIP based genome-centric metagenomics identifies key long-chain fatty acid-degrading populations in anaerobic digesters with different feeding frequencies

Ryan M. Ziels*, Diana Z. Sousa, H.D. Stensel, David A.C. Beck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fats, oils and greases (FOG) are energy-dense wastes that can be added to anaerobic digesters to substantially increase biomethane recovery via their conversion through long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). However, a better understanding of the ecophysiology of syntrophic LCFA-degrading microbial communities in anaerobic digesters is needed to develop operating strategies that mitigate inhibitory LCFA accumulation from FOG. In this research, DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) was coupled with metagenomic sequencing for a genome-centric comparison of oleate (C 18:1)-degrading populations in two anaerobic codigesters operated with either a pulse feeding or continuous-feeding strategy. The pulse-fed codigester microcosms converted oleate into methane at over 20% higher rates than the continuous-fed codigester microcosms. Differential coverage binning was demonstrated for the first time to recover population genome bins (GBs) from DNA-SIP metagenomes. About 70% of the 13 C-enriched GBs were taxonomically assigned to the Syntrophomonas genus, thus substantiating the importance of Syntrophomonas species to LCFA degradation in anaerobic digesters. Phylogenetic comparisons of 13 C-enriched GBs showed that phylogenetically distinct Syntrophomonas GBs were unique to each codigester. Overall, these results suggest that syntrophic populations in anaerobic digesters can have different adaptive capacities, and that selection for divergent populations may be achieved by adjusting reactor operating conditions to maximize biomethane recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
JournalISME Journal
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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