Methanogenic profiles by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis using order-specific primers in anaerobic sludge digestion

Kwanghyun Hwang, Seung G Shin, Jaai Kim, Seokhwan Hwang
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2008, 80 (2): 269-76
In the present study, the diversity of methanogenic populations was monitored for 25 days, together with the process data for an anaerobic batch reactor treating waste-activated sludge. To understand this microbial diversity and dynamics, 16S rRNA-gene-targeted denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting was conducted at two different taxonomic levels: the domain and order levels. The DGGE profiles of the domain Archaea and the three orders Methanosarcinales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanobacteriales were comparatively analyzed after each DGGE band was sequenced to enable identification. The DGGE profiles of the three orders showed methanogens belonging to each order that were not detected in the DGGE profile of the Archaea. This discrepancy may have resulted from PCR bias or differences in the abundances of the three microbial orders in the anaerobic bioreactor. In conclusion, to fully understand the detailed methanogenic diversity and dynamics in an anaerobic bioreactor, it is necessary to conduct DGGE analysis with 16S rRNA gene primers that target lower taxonomic groups.


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