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Genetic repertoires of anaerobic microbiomes driving generation of biogas
- Grohmann, Anja, Vainshtein, Yevhen, Euchner, Ellen, Grumaz, Christian, Bryniok, Dieter, Rabus, Ralf, Sohn, Kai
- Biotechnology for biofuels 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 255
- DNA, biogas, databases, fermenters, gas production (biological), genes, metagenomics, microbial communities, microbiome, microorganisms, nanopores, nucleotide sequences, process control, transcriptomics
- BACKGROUND: Biogas production is an attractive technology for a sustainable generation of renewable energy. Although the microbial community is fundamental for such production, the process control is still limited to technological and chemical parameters. Currently, most of the efforts on microbial management system (MiMaS) are focused on process-specific marker species and community dynamics, but a practical implementation is in its infancy. The high number of unknown and uncharacterized microorganisms in general is one of the reasons hindering further advancements. RESULTS: A Biogas Metagenomics Hybrid Assembly (BioMETHA) database, derived from microbiomes of biogas plants, was generated using a dedicated assembly strategy for different metagenomic datasets. Long reads from nanopore sequencing (MinION) were combined with short, more accurate second-generation sequencing reads (Illumina). The hybrid assembly resulted in 231 genomic bins each representing a taxonomic unit with an average completeness of 47%. Functional annotation identified 13,190 non-redundant genes covering roughly 207 k coding sequences. Mapping rates of metagenomics DNA derived from diverse biogas plants and laboratory reactors increased up to 73%. In addition, an EC (enzyme commission) reference sequence collection (ERSC) was generated whose genes are crucial for biogas-related processes, consisting of 235 unique EC numbers organized in 52 metabolic modules. Mapping rates of metatranscriptomic data to this ERSC revealed coverages of up to 93%. Process parameters and imbalances of laboratory reactors could be reconstructed by evaluating abundance of biogas-specific metabolic modules using metatranscriptomic data derived from various fermenter systems. CONCLUSION: This newly established metagenomic hybrid assembly in combination with an EC reference sequence collection might help to shed light on the microbial dark matter of biogas plants by contributing to the development of a reference for biogas plant microbiome-specific gene sequences. Considering a biogas microbiome as a complex meta-organism expressing a meta-transcriptome, the approach established here could lay the foundation for a function-based microbial management system.