Presence and transcriptional activity of anaerobic fungi and agricultural biogas plants

Veronika Dollhofer, Tony M. Callaghan, Gareth Griffith, Michael Lebuhn, Johann Bauer

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31 Citations (SciVal)
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Bioaugmentation with anaerobic fungi (AF2) is promising for improved biogas generation from lignocelluloses-rich substrates. However, before implementing AF into biogas processes it is necessary to investigate their natural occurrence, community structure and transcriptional activity in agricultural biogas plants. Thus, AF were detected with three specific PCR based methods: (i) Copies of their 18S genes were found in 7 of 10 biogas plants. (ii) transcripts of a GH5 endoglucanase gene were present at low level in two digesters, indicating transcriptional cellulolytic activity of AF. (iii) Phylogeny of the AF-community was inferred with the 28S gene. A new Piromyces species was isolated from a PCR-positive digester.

Evidence for AF was only found in biogas plants operated with high proportions of animal feces. Thus, AF were most likely transferred into digesters with animal derived substrates. Additionally, high process temperatures in combination with long retention times seemed to impede AF survival and activity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date22 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2017


  • anaerobic fungi
  • biogas
  • lignocellulose utilization
  • transcriptional activity
  • strain isolation


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