Biogas is regarded as a clean and renewable energy source and can be produced from a variety of organic feedstocks and livestock manures. In Germany, thousands of biogas plants are producing close to 20 TWh of electricity annually. The process of fermenting biogas from organic material involves multiple microbial interactions. This project focuses on learning more about the compositions of biogas-producing microbial communities through a variety of techniques, including single-cell genomics and metagenomics to identify dominant community members. Thus far, only a few of the microbes have been isolated, and most are uncultured so metagenomic sequencing is a means to obtain unbiased insights into community composition and the genetic potential of important community members.
PI: Alex Sczyrba, Bielefeld University, Germany