Singh A, Müller B, Schnürer A
Sci Rep 11 (1) 13298 [2021-06-24; online 2021-06-24]
Acetogens play a key role in anaerobic degradation of organic material and in maintaining biogas process efficiency. Profiling this community and its temporal changes can help evaluate process stability and function, especially under disturbance/stress conditions, and avoid complete process failure. The formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS) gene can be used as a marker for acetogenic community profiling in diverse environments. In this study, we developed a new high-throughput FTHFS gene sequencing method for acetogenic community profiling and compared it with conventional terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of the FTHFS gene, 16S rRNA gene-based profiling of the whole bacterial community, and indirect analysis via 16S rRNA profiling of the FTHFS gene-harbouring community. Analyses and method comparisons were made using samples from two laboratory-scale biogas processes, one operated under stable control and one exposed to controlled overloading disturbance. Comparative analysis revealed satisfactory detection of the bacterial community and its changes for all methods, but with some differences in resolution and taxonomic identification. FTHFS gene sequencing was found to be the most suitable and reliable method to study acetogenic communities. These results pave the way for community profiling in various biogas processes and in other environments where the dynamics of acetogenic bacteria have not been well studied.