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Water Res. 2018 Sep 1;140:123-134. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.043. Epub 2018 Apr 20.

Metagenomic binning reveals the functional roles of core abundant microorganisms in twelve full-scale biogas plants.

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Department of Biology, University of Padua, Via U. Bassi 58/b, 35121 Padova, Italy.
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark.
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark. Electronic address:
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, 200433, Shanghai, China; Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092, PR China. Electronic address:


The aim of this work was to elucidate the microbial ecology in twelve mesophilic and thermophilic full-scale biogas plants using a genome-centric metagenomic approach. In this study both biogas plants treating manure and those treating sludge from waste water treatment plants were considered. The identification of 132 Metagenome-Assembled Genomes (MAGs) and analysis of their abundance profile in different samples allowed the identification of the most abundant core members of the anaerobic digestion microbiome. Canonical correspondence analysis was used to determine the influence of biotic and environmental factors on MAGs abundance and to investigate the methanogenic performance of the biogas plants. Prediction of the functional properties of MAGs was obtained analyzing their KEGG pathways and their carbohydrate active domains. Network analysis allowed investigation of species-species associations and shed light on syntrophic interactions between members belonging to the anaerobic digestion dark matter (phylum Fermentibacteria). By stratifying and comparing different levels of information, it was predicted that some MAGs have a crucial role in the manure-supplemented thermophilic biogas plants and it was highlighted the importance of the glycine cleavage system in complementing the "truncated" Wood-Ljungdahl pathway.


Abundant metagenome-assembled genomes; Anaerobic digestion; Functional analysis; Metagenomic binning

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