UBC Faculty Research and Publications

New insights from the biogas microbiome by comprehensive genome-resolved metagenomics of nearly 1600 species originating from multiple anaerobic digesters Campanaro, Stefano; Treu, Laura; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Kovalovszki, Adam; Ziels, Ryan M; Maus, Irena; Zhu, Xinyu; Kougias, Panagiotis G; Basile, Arianna; Luo, Gang; et al.


Background: Microorganisms in biogas reactors are essential for degradation of organic matter and methane production. However, a comprehensive genome-centric comparison, including relevant metadata for each sample, is still needed to identify the globally distributed biogas community members and serve as a reliable repository. Results: Here, 134 publicly available metagenomes derived from different biogas reactors were used to recover 1635 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) representing different biogas bacterial and archaeal species. All genomes were estimated to be > 50% complete and nearly half ≥ 90% complete with ≤ 5% contamination. In most samples, specialized microbial communities were established, while only a few taxa were widespread among the different reactor systems. Metabolic reconstruction of the MAGs enabled the prediction of functional traits related to biomass degradation and methane production from waste biomass. An extensive evaluation of the replication index provided an estimation of the growth dynamics for microbes involved in different steps of the food chain. Conclusions: The outcome of this study highlights a high flexibility of the biogas microbiome, allowing it to modify its composition and to adapt to the environmental conditions, including temperatures and a wide range of substrates. Our findings enhance our mechanistic understanding of the AD microbiome and substantially extend the existing repository of genomes. The established database represents a relevant resource for future studies related to this engineered ecosystem.

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