Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 89, Issue 6, pp 2039–2052

Bacteria and archaea involved in anaerobic digestion of distillers grains with solubles

  • Ayrat M. Ziganshin
  • Thomas Schmidt
  • Frank Scholwin
  • Olga N. Il’inskaya
  • Hauke Harms
  • Sabine Kleinsteuber
Environmental Biotechnology


Cereal distillers grains, a by-product from bioethanol industry, proved to be a suitable feedstock for biogas production in laboratory scale anaerobic digesters. Five continuously stirred tank reactors were run under constant conditions and monitored for biogas production and composition along with other process parameters. Iron additives for sulfide precipitation significantly improved the process stability and efficiency, whereas aerobic pretreatment of the grains had no effect. The microbial communities in the reactors were investigated for their phylogenetic composition by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The bacterial subcommunities were highly diverse, and their composition did not show any correlation with reactor performance. The dominant phylotypes were affiliated to the Bacteroidetes. The archaeal subcommunities were less diverse and correlated with the reactor performance. The well-performing reactors operated at lower organic loading rates and amended with iron chloride were dominated by aceticlastic methanogens of the genus Methanosaeta. The well-performing reactor operated at a high organic loading rate and supplemented with iron hydroxide was dominated by Methanosarcina ssp. The reactor without iron additives was characterized by propionate and acetate accumulation and high hydrogen sulfide content and was dominated by hydrogenotrophic methanogens of the genus Methanoculleus.


Biogas DDGS T-RFLP Methanogenic archaea Porphyromonadaceae Actinomycetales 

Supplementary material

253_2010_2981_MOESM1_ESM.doc (308 kb)
Table S1Sequencing results of representative bacterial 16S rDNA gene clones and experimentally determined terminal restriction fragments (T-RF) (DOC 308 kb)
253_2010_2981_MOESM2_ESM.doc (200 kb)
Table S2Sequencing results of representative archaeal 16S rDNA gene clones and experimentally determined terminal restriction fragments (T-RF) (DOC 200 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayrat M. Ziganshin
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmidt
    • 2
  • Frank Scholwin
    • 2
  • Olga N. Il’inskaya
    • 1
  • Hauke Harms
    • 3
  • Sabine Kleinsteuber
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyKazan (Volga Region) Federal UniversityKazanRussian Federation
  2. 2.Department of Biochemical ConversionGerman Biomass Research CentreLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Department of Environmental MicrobiologyUFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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