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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Feb;102(4):3730-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.11.119. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

A meta-analysis of the microbial diversity observed in anaerobic digesters.

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Environmental Science Graduate Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


In this study, the collective microbial diversity in anaerobic digesters was examined using a meta-analysis approach. All 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from anaerobic digesters available in public databases were retrieved and subjected to phylogenetic and statistical analyses. As of May 2010, 16,519 bacterial and 2869 archaeal sequences were found in GenBank. The bacterial sequences were assigned to 5926 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, based on ≥ 97% sequence identity) representing 28 known bacterial phyla, with Proteobacteria (1590 OTUs), Firmicutes (1352 OTUs), Bacteroidetes (705 OTUs), and Chloroflexi (693 OTUs) being predominant. Archaeal sequences were assigned to 296 OTUs, primarily Methanosaeta and the uncharacterized WSA2 group. Nearly 60% of all sequences could not be classified to any established genus. Rarefaction analysis indicates that approximately 60% of bacterial and 90% of archaeal diversity in anaerobic digesters has been sampled. This analysis of the global bacterial and archaeal diversity in AD systems can guide future studies to further examine the microbial diversity involved in AD and development of comprehensive analytical tools.

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