Establishment of a core microbiom of biogas plants

Production of biogas from renewable resources and agricultural waste is an essential part of future-oriented, sustainable, and CO2-neutral energy generation. The anaerobic degradation of biomass, which leads to the formation of biogas, is catalyzed by a complex and dynamic microbial community comprised of many different bacteria playing different roles in the conversion. Most of these organisms as well as their physiological properties have not been studied yet. However, the knowledge of these processes and the participating microorganisms is fundamental to developing new technologies for an enhanced and efficient biogas production.

To study the microbial communities and processes, high throughput techniques for DNA analysis are applied. Unfortunately, to date the generated data can only be interpreted rudimentary as databases lack reference sequences. To evaluate sequence data properly, new isolates of so far unknown bacteria are pivotal to provide access to genome data.

The aim of this project is the construction of a reference database about the core microbiom of biogas plants to make high throughput DNA data accessible for biogas research purposes.

The results of this study are expected to provide substantial insights into microbial processes and the diversity involved in biogas formation. The reference database will be fundamental to interpret ‘omic’ data properly and thus build the basis for further analyses which facilitate the development of technologies leading to enhanced biogas production.

The project is supported by: