© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Temperature is an important factor determining the performance and stability of the anaerobic digestion process. However, the microorganism-regulated mechanisms of temperature effects on the performance of anaerobic digestion systems remain further elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the changes in composition, diversity and activities of microbial communities under temperature gradient from 25 to 55°C using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing approach based on genomic DNA (refer to as "16S rDNA") and total RNA (refer to as "16S rRNA"). Results: Microbial community structure and activities changed dramatically along the temperature gradient, which corresponded to the variations in digestion performance (e.g., daily CH 4 production, total biogas production and volatile fatty acids concentration). The ratios of 16S rRNA to 16S rDNA of microbial taxa, as an indicator of the potentially relative activities in situ, and whole activities of microbial community assessed by the similarity between microbial community based on 16S rDNA and rRNA, varied strongly along the temperature gradient, reflecting different metabolic activities. The daily CH 4 production increased with temperature from 25 to 50°C and declined at 55°C. Among all the examined microbial properties, the whole activities of microbial community and alpha-diversity indices of both microbial communities and potentially relative activities showed highest correlations to the performance. Conclusions: The whole activities of microbial community and alpha-diversity indices of both microbial communities and potentially relative activities were sensitive indicators for the performance of anaerobic digestion systems under temperature gradient, while beta-diversity could predict functional differences. Microorganism-regulated mechanisms of temperature effects on anaerobic digestion performance were likely realized through increasing alpha-diversity of both microbial communities and potentially relative activities to supply more functional pathways and activities for metabolic network, and increasing the whole activities of microbial community, especially methanogenesis, to improve the strength and efficiency in anaerobic digestion process.
Lin, Q., He, G., Rui, J., Fang, X., Tao, Y., Li, J., & Li, X. (2016). Microorganism-regulated mechanisms of temperature effects on the performance of anaerobic digestion. Microbial Cell Factories, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12934-016-0491-x