Comparison of the microbial communities in solid-state anaerobic digestion (SS-AD) reactors operated at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2015 Jan;99(2):969-80. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-6036-5. Epub 2014 Sep 7.


The microbiomes involved in liquid anaerobic digestion process have been investigated extensively, but the microbiomes underpinning solid-state anaerobic digestion (SS-AD) are poorly understood. In this study, microbiome composition and temporal succession in batch SS-AD reactors, operated at mesophilic or thermophilic temperatures, were investigated using Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. A greater microbial richness and evenness were found in the mesophilic than in the thermophilic SS-AD reactors. Firmicutes accounted for 60 and 82 % of the total Bacteria in the mesophilic and in the thermophilic SS-AD reactors, respectively. The genus Methanothermobacter dominated the Archaea in the thermophilic SS-AD reactors, while Methanoculleus predominated in the mesophilic SS-AD reactors. Interestingly, the data suggest syntrophic acetate oxidation coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis as an important pathway for biogas production during the thermophilic SS-AD. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that temperature was the most influential factor in shaping the microbiomes in the SS-AD reactors. Thermotogae showed strong positive correlation with operation temperature, while Fibrobacteres, Lentisphaerae, Spirochaetes, and Tenericutes were positively correlated with daily biogas yield. This study provided new insight into the microbiome that drives SS-AD process, and the findings may help advance understanding of the microbiome in SS-AD reactors and the design and operation of SS-AD systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Archaea / classification*
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / classification*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / metabolism
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biofuels*
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • DNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Metagenomics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Temperature


  • Acetates
  • Biofuels
  • DNA, Archaeal
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S