Relationship between microbial activity and microbial community structure in six full-scale anaerobic digesters

L. Regueiro, P. Veiga, M. Figueroa, J. Alonso-Gutierrez, A.J.M. Stams, J.M. Lema, M. Carballa

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148 Citations (Scopus)


High activity levels and balanced anaerobic microbial communities are necessary to attain proper anaerobic digestion performance. Therefore, this work was focused on the kinetic performance and the microbial community structure of six full-scale anaerobic digesters and one lab-scale co-digester. Hydrolytic (0.6-3.5 g COD g(-1) VSS d(-1)) and methanogenic (0.01-0.84 g COD g(-1) VSS d(-1)) activities depended on the type of biomass, whereas no significant differences were observed among the acidogenic activities (1.5-2.2 g COD g(-1) VSS d(-1)). In most cases, the higher the hydrolytic and the methanogenic activity, the higher the Bacteroidetes and Archaea percentages, respectively, in the biomasses. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenic activity was always higher than acetoclastic methanogenic activity, and the highest values were achieved in those biomasses with lower percentages of Methanosaeta. in sum, the combination of molecular tools with activity tests seems to be essential for a better characterization of anaerobic biomasses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-589
JournalMicrobiological Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • methanogenic activity tests
  • municipal solid-waste
  • in-situ detection
  • bacterial communities
  • sludge digester
  • trophic groups
  • start-up
  • water
  • hybridization
  • hydrolysis

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