Metagenomics for Industrial Biotechnology
Report on Metataxonomic Analyses of the Anaerobic Digestor Organic Overload
We, the MfIB 2020-21 class, are the R&D department at a biotechnology company,
Advanced Microbial Solutions, which carries out contract research for a variety of
companies which use microbial bioreactors in their businesses. The work we have
been carrying out this Semester has involved metataxonomic analysis for an industrial
partner, Carbogenics (https://www.crechar.com). Carbogenics market a novel carbon-
based material, CreChar®, as a supplement for anaerobic digestion (AD), which can
be used to overcome inhibition of AD reactors due to factors such as ammonia
concentration and organic overloading. Their test feedstocks for AD include sewage
sludge and pot-ale from the whisky industry. This report consists of a technical
summary of our metataxonomic analyses on samples provided by Carbogenics, to be
read and interpreted by staff at the company.
As per the brief given to us by Carbogenics, we have conducted and analysed
a lab-scale AD experiment in which digestate from the industrial-scale AD reactors at
Seafield Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was loaded with increasing amounts
of thermal hydrolysate (feedstock) from the same plant, to investigate organic
overloading. Describe the results of metataxonomic analysis on the samples from this
experiment, including the following:
• differences in alpha-diversity observed over time, between feedstock ratios
and dependent on biogas inhibition.
• taxonomic differences between reactors below and above the threshold for
inhibition of biogas production.
• taxonomic biomarkers for inhibited and uninhibited states of the reactors.
Where possible, relate the observed differences to the potential sensitivities or
functions of the differentially-abundant organisms, and support your conclusions with
appropriate statistical tests.
A detailed methodology is not required, though an overview of the methods used to
analyse the data, accessible to staff at the company, would be helpful.
The total report should not exceed 2,000 words in length. Diagrams and other
figures should be used to describe the results, and elsewhere if necessary, and
their legends or the bibliography will not contribute to the word count. 学霸联盟