Phylogenetic identification of methanogens assimilating acetate-derived carbon in dairy and swine manures.

Barret, M., Gagnon, N., Morissette, B., Kalmokoff, M.L., Topp, E., Brooks, S.P.J., Matias, F., Neufeld, J.D., and Talbot, G. (2015). "Phylogenetic identification of methanogens assimilating acetate-derived carbon in dairy and swine manures.", Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 38(1), pp. 56-66. doi : 10.1016/j.syapm.2014.11.006  Access to full text


In order to develop approaches for reducing the carbon footprint of the swine and dairy industries, it is important first to identify the methanogenic communities that drive methane emissions from stored manure. In this study, the metabolically active methanogens in substrate-starved manure samples taken from two dairy and one swine manure storage tanks were identified using [13C]-acetate and DNA stable-isotope probing (DNA-SIP). Molecular analysis of recovered genomic [13C]-DNA revealed that two distinct clusters of unclassified methanogen populations affiliated with the Methanoculleus genus, and the populations affiliated with Methanoculleus chikugoensis assimilated acetate-derived carbon (acetate-C) in swine and dairy starved manure samples, respectively. Furthermore, carbon flow calculations indicated that these populations were the primary contributors to methane emissions during these anoxic SIP incubations. Comparative analysis of mcrA gene abundance (coding for a key enzyme of methanogenesis) for Methanoculleus spp. in fresh feces and a wider range of stored dairy or swine manure samples, by real-time quantitative PCR using newly designed specific primers, demonstrated that the abundance of this genus significantly increased during storage. The findings supported the involvement of these particular methanogen populations as methane emitters from swine and dairy manure storage tanks. The study revealed that the ability to assimilate acetate-C for growth in manure differed within the Methanoculleus genus.

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