Characterization of microbial community structure during continuous anaerobic digestion of straw and cow manure

Microb Biotechnol. 2015 Sep;8(5):815-27. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.12298. Epub 2015 Jul 8.


Responses of bacterial and archaeal communities to the addition of straw during anaerobic digestion of manure at different temperatures (37°C, 44°C and 52°C) were investigated using five laboratory-scale semi-continuous stirred tank reactors. The results revealed that including straw as co-substrate decreased the species richness for bacteria, whereas increasing the operating temperature decreased the species richness for both archaea and bacteria, and also the evenness of the bacteria. Taxonomic classifications of the archaeal community showed that Methanobrevibacter dominated in the manure samples, while Methanosarcina dominated in all digesters regardless of substrate. Increase of the operating temperature to 52°C led to increased relative abundance of Methanoculleus and Methanobacterium. Among the bacteria, the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominated within all samples. Compared with manure itself, digestion of manure resulted in a higher abundance of an uncultured class WWE1 and lower abundance of Bacilli. Adding straw to the digesters increased the level of Bacteroidia, while increasing the operating temperature decreased the level of this class and instead increased the relative abundance of an uncultured genus affiliated to order MBA08 (Clostridia). A considerable fraction of bacterial sequences could not be allocated to genus level, indicating that novel phylotypes are resident in these communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Archaea / classification*
  • Archaea / growth & development
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Biota*
  • Cattle
  • DNA, Archaeal / chemistry
  • DNA, Archaeal / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Manure / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Stems / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Temperature


  • DNA, Archaeal
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Manure

Associated data

  • SRA/SRP049689