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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1994 Apr;60(4):1241-8.

Quantification of methanogenic groups in anaerobic biological reactors by oligonucleotide probe hybridization.

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  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 61801.


The microbial community structure of anaerobic biological reactors was evaluated by using oligonucleotide probes complementary to conserved tracts of the 16S rRNAs of phylogenetically defined groups of methanogens. Phylogenetically defined groups of methanogens were quantified and visualized, respectively, by hybridization of 32P- and fluorescent-dye-labeled probes to the 16S rRNAs from samples taken from laboratory acetate-fed chemostats, laboratory municipal solid waste digestors, and full-scale sewage sludge digestors. Methanosarcina species, members of the order Methanobacteriales, and Methanosaeta species were the most abundant methanogens present in the chemostats, the solid-waste digestors, and the sewage sludge digestors, respectively.

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