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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Jun;98(12):5709-18. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5648-0. Epub 2014 Mar 16.

Metagenomic analysis of sludge from full-scale anaerobic digesters operated in municipal wastewater treatment plants.

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Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


This study applied Illumina high-throughput sequencing to explore the microbial communities and functions in anaerobic digestion sludge (ADS) from two wastewater treatment plants based on a metagenomic view. Taxonomic analysis using SILVA SSU database indicated that Proteobacteria (9.52-13.50 %), Bacteroidetes (7.18 %-10.65 %) and Firmicutes (7.53 %-9.46 %) were the most abundant phyla in the ADS. Differences of microbial communities between the two types of ADS were identified. Genera of Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina were the major methanogens. Functional analysis by SEED subsystems showed that the basic metabolic functions of metagenomes in the four ADS samples had no significant difference among them, but they were different from other microbial communities from activated sludge, human faeces, ocean and soil. Abundances of genes in methanogenesis pathway were also quantified using a methanogenesis genes database extracted from KEGG. Results showed that acetotrophic was the major methanogenic pathway in the anaerobic sludge digestion.

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