Substrate type drives variation in reactor microbiomes of anaerobic digesters

Bioresour Technol. 2014 Jan;151:397-401. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.10.004. Epub 2013 Oct 10.


The goal of this study was to obtain causative information about beta-diversity (differentiation between microbiomes) by comparing sequencing information between studies rather than just knowledge about alpha-diversity (microbiome richness). Here, published sequencing data were merged representing 78 anaerobic digester samples originating from 28 different studies for an overall comparison of beta-diversity (measured using unweighted UniFrac). It was found that digester microbiomes based on bacterial sequences clustered by substrate type, independent of the study of origin, and that this clustering could be attributed to distinct bacterial lineages.

Keywords: 16S rRNA characterization; Anaerobic digestion; Beta-diversity; Reactor microbiomes; Sanger sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Microbiota*
  • Phylogeny
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Refuse Disposal / instrumentation*
  • Substrate Specificity