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Title (Primary) Microbial community shifts in biogas reactors upon complete or partial ammonia inhibition
Author Lv, Z.; Leite, A.F.; Harms, H.; Glaser, K.; Liebetrau, J.; Kleinsteuber, S.; Nikolausz, M.
Journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Year 2019
Department UMB; iDiv
Volume 103
Issue 1
Page From 519
Page To 533
Language englisch
Keywords Methanogenesis; Anaerobic digestion; Syntrophic acetate oxidation; Ammonia inhibition; Methanosarcina
Abstract Anaerobic digestion of nitrogen-rich substrate often causes process inhibition due to the susceptibility of the microbial community facing ammonia accumulation. However, the precise response of the microbial community has remained largely unknown. To explore the reasons, bacterial communities in ammonia-stressed reactors and control reactors were studied by amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and the active methanogens were followed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of mcrA/mrtA gene transcripts. The results showed that the diversity of bacterial communities decreased in two parallel ammonia-inhibited reactors compared with two control reactors, but different levels of inhibitions coinciding with different community shifts were observed. In one reactor, the process was completely inhibited, which was preceded by a decreasing relative abundance of the phylum Firmicutes. Despite the same operating conditions, the process was stabilized in the parallel, partially inhibited reactor, in which the relative abundance of Firmicutes greatly increased. In particular, both ammonia-inhibited reactors lacked taxa assumed to be syntrophic bacteria (Thermoanaerobacteraceae, Syntrophomonadaceae, and Synergistaceae). Besides the predominance of the hydrogenotrophic methanogens Methanoculleus and Methanobacterium, activity of Methanosarcina and even of the strictly aceticlastic genus Methanosaeta were found to contribute at very high ammonia levels (> 9 g NH4-N L−1) in the stabilized reactor (partial inhibition). In contrast, the lack of aceticlastic activity in the parallel reactor might have led to acetate accumulation and thus process failure (complete inhibition). Collectively, ammonia was found to be a general inhibitor while accumulating acetate and thus acidification might be the key factor of complete process failure.
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Lv, Z., Leite, A.F., Harms, H., Glaser, K., Liebetrau, J., Kleinsteuber, S., Nikolausz, M. (2019):
Microbial community shifts in biogas reactors upon complete or partial ammonia inhibition
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 103 (1), 519 - 533