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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Dec 17. doi: 10.1007/s10295-019-02254-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Characterization of microbial communities in ethanol biorefineries.

Author information

1
Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
2
Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits, Lebanon, NH, USA.
3
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, Akershus, Norway.
4
Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
5
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA.
6
Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA. jsteele@lallemand.com.
7
Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Spirits, Lebanon, NH, USA. jsteele@lallemand.com.

Abstract

Bacterial contamination of corn-based ethanol biorefineries can reduce their efficiency and hence increase their carbon footprint. To enhance our understanding of these bacterial contaminants, we temporally sampled four biorefineries in the Midwestern USA that suffered from chronic contamination and characterized their microbiomes using both 16S rRNA sequencing and shotgun metagenomics. These microbiotas were determined to be relatively simple, with 13 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) accounting for 90% of the bacterial population. They were dominated by Firmicutes (89%), with Lactobacillus comprising 80% of the OTUs from this phylum. Shotgun metagenomics confirmed our 16S rRNA data and allowed us to characterize bacterial succession at the species level, with the results of this analysis being that Lb. helveticus was the dominant contaminant in this fermentation. Taken together, these results provide insights into the microbiome of ethanol biorefineries and identifies a species likely to be commonly responsible for chronic contamination of these facilities.

KEYWORDS:

Contaminants; Ethanolic fermentation; Lactic acid bacteria; Metagenomics

PMID:
31848793
DOI:
10.1007/s10295-019-02254-7

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