Microbial communities from 20 different hydrogen-producing reactors studied by 454 pyrosequencing

Claudia Etchebehere, Elena Castelló, Jorge Wenzel, Mélida del Pilar Anzola-Rojas, Liliana Borzacconi, Germán Buitrón, Lea Cabrol, Vivian María Carminato, Julian Carrillo-Reyes, Crhistian Cisneros-Pérez, Laura Fuentes, Iván Moreno-Andrade, Elías Razo-Flores, Gonzalo Ruiz Filippi, Estela Tapia-Venegas, Javiera Toledo-Alarcón, Marcelo Zaiat

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69 Scopus citations


To provide new insight into the dark fermentation process, a multi-lateral study was performed to study the microbiology of 20 different lab-scale bioreactors operated in four different countries (Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay). Samples (29) were collected from bioreactors with different configurations, operation conditions, and performances. The microbial communities were analyzed using 16S rRNA genes 454 pyrosequencing. The results showed notably uneven communities with a high predominance of a particular genus. The phylum Firmicutes predominated in most of the samples, but the phyla Thermotogae or Proteobacteria dominated in a few samples. Genera from three physiological groups were detected: high-yield hydrogen producers (Clostridium, Kosmotoga, Enterobacter), fermenters with low-hydrogen yield (mostly from Veillonelaceae), and competitors (Lactobacillus). Inocula, reactor configurations, and substrates influence the microbial communities. This is the first joint effort that evaluates hydrogen-producing reactors and operational conditions from different countries and contributes to understand the dark fermentation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3371-3384
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 454 pyrosequencing
  • Biohydrogen
  • Dark fermentation
  • Microbial community
  • Reactor


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