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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 746, 2020, 141086

Functional characteristic of microbial communities in large-scale biotreatment systems of food waste

Panliang Wanga,b, Ziru Qiaoa,b, Xunan Lia,b, Yinglong Sua,b,c,d, Bing Xiea,b,c,d

Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Biotransformation of Organic Solid Waste, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, PR China.


In order to evaluate microbial community structure dominated metabolic function profiles in large-scale food waste (FW) biotreatment systems, bacterial, archaeal and fungal community associated with metabolic function in high-temperature aerobic fermentation (AF) and anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) processes were comprehensively investigated in this study. The qPCR results showed the higher gene copies of bacteria and fungi in initial and AF-treated FW compared with AcoD-treated FW, as well as bacteria and archaea in AcoD-treated FW were highly abundant among detected samples. Furthermore, the total abundances of archaea ((1.18–4.88) × 106copies/ng DNA) in AcoD system were 2–3 orders of magnitude higher than that in other samples (P < 0.01), indicating active archaeal activity in AcoD system. Correlation analysis of microbial community and metabolic function indicated that the higher abundances of KazachstaniaPyrobaculumSulfophobococcusLactobacillus and Candida in initial FW had close linkages with lipid metabolism (P < 0.05). Abundant AspergillusStaphylococcusPelomonasCorynebacteriumFaecalibacteriumMethanobacterium and Xeromyces in AF system were positively and significantly correlated with high metabolic activities of energy metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, glycosaminoglycan degradation, sulfur metabolism and nitrogen metabolism. As for AcoD system, dominant genera MethanosaetaMethanoculleusMethanobacteriumFastidiosipilaRikenellaceae RC9, Bifidobacterium and Xeromyces had close relationships with metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, energy metabolism, methane metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and glycosaminoglycan degradation (P < 0.05). These results are expected to improve the metabolic efficiency by functional microorganism in different large-scale FW treatment systems.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Food waste, Anaerobic co-digestion, Aerobic fermentation, Archaea, Bacteria, Metabolic function.

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