Comparison of microbial communities in replicated woodchip bioreactors

Date
2021-12-29
Authors
Schaefer, Abby
Lee, Jaejin
Moorman, Thomas
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Civil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Abstract
Denitrification in woodchip bioreactors is a microbial process, but the effect of variations in bioreactors operation on microbial community structure are not well understood. Here, our goals were to understand hydraulic retention time (HRT) as a factor that influences woodchip bioreactor microbial community variation and structure in replicated field bioreactors and to evaluate relationships between microbial community membership and marker genes for denitrification. We used a combination of qPCR of nirS, nirK, nosZI, and nosZII and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to characterize the microbial communities of nine pilot-scale woodchip bioreactors located at Iowa State University. Our results showed dynamic microbial communities but with persistent taxa between two sampling years and three hydraulic retention times (HRTs). Similarities between functional gene copy numbers across sampling year and HRT indicate that the potential for denitrification is conserved despite differences in the microbial communities. These results are evidence that there are specific and persistent taxa within replicated bioreactors. Woodchip bioreactor microbial community membership is recommended to be the focus of future studies to better understand the relationship between microbial community functions and bioreactor management.
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This is a manuscript version of the following article: Schaefer, Abby, Jaejin Lee, Michelle Soupir, Thomas Moorman, and Adina Howe. Comparison of microbial communities in replicated woodchip bioreactors. Journal of Environmental Quality (2021). DOI: 10.1002/jeq2.20320. Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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