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Bioresour Technol. 2006 Jan;97(1):69-76. Epub 2005 Apr 1.

Phylogenetic description of immobilized methanogenic community using real-time PCR in a fixed-bed anaerobic digester.

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Biomass Group, Energy Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569, Japan.


After immobilization of anaerobes on polyurethane foam in a thermophilic, fixed-bed, anaerobic digester supplied with acetate, the results of real-time PCR analysis indicated that the major immobilized methanogenic archaea were Methanosarcina spp., and that the major free-living methanogenic archaea were Methanosarcina and Methanobacterium spp. 16S rRNA gene densities of Methanosarcina spp. and Methanobacterium spp. immobilized on the polyurethane foam were 7.6x10(9) and 2.6x10(8) copies/cm3, respectively. Immobilized methanogenic archaea could be concentrated 1000 times relative to those in the original anaerobically digested sludge from a completely mixed thermophilic digester supplied with cattle waste. On the other hand, immobilized bacteria could be concentrated only 10 times. The cell densities of the immobilized methanogenic archaea and bacteria were higher than those of the free-living methanogenic archaea and bacteria in the reactor. The results of clone analysis indicate that the major methanogenic archaea of the original thermophilic sludge are members of the order Methanomicrobiales, and that the major methanogenic archaea immobilized on the polyurethane foam are Methanosarcina spp., and those of the liquid phase are Methanobacterium spp. The results of the real time PCR analysis approximately agree with those of the clone analysis. These results indicate that real-time PCR analysis is useful for quantitatively describing methanogenic communities.

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