Characterization of a microbial consortium that converts mariculture fish waste to biomethane Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Abstract Environmentally responsible disposal of solid organic wastes from land-based brackish and marine recirculating aquaculture systems is critical for promoting widespread acceptance and implementation, but conversion efficiency of saline sludge to biomethane is generally low. We describe the development of a microbial consortium that can convert marine organic fish waste solids to biomethane at over 90% efficiency. The halotolerant microbial consortium, which was developed by sequential transfer in seawater with fish waste, is optimized for low COD:N ratios typical of organic fish waste and does not require addition of amendments such as organic carbon or nutrients. Temperatures for maximum rates of conversion range from 26 to 35 °C. Five predominant phylotypes identified in the microbial consortium by denaturing HPLC were isolated. Two isolates included anaerobic fermentative bacteria identified as a strain of Dethiosulfovibrio and a strain closely related to Fusobacterium spp., which both hydrolyze and ferment proteins, peptides and amino acids. The other three isolates included an acetate-utilizing methanogenic archaeon identified as a strain of Methanosarcina and two hydrogen-utilizing methanogenic archaea identified as strains of Methanogenium and Methanoplanus . Bioconversion rates of sterile fish waste with the reconstituted microbial consortium containing all five isolates were equivalent to rates observed with the original enriched consortium after one sequential transfer. The results demonstrate unequivocally that halotolerant consortia of bacteria and archaea can be developed for bioconversion of saline organic solid waste with high efficiencies equivalent to those attained with non-saline waste systems. Understanding the microbial community composition is critical for management of solid organic waste from land-based marine aquaculture systems and to maintain or restore microbiota during start up and throughout the production process. Statement of relevance Appropriate disposal of solid organic wastes from land-based brackish and marine recirculating aquaculture systems is critical for promoting widespread acceptance and implementation. We demonstrate that halotolerant consortia of bacteria and archaea can be developed for bioconversion of saline fish waste with high efficiencies equivalent to those attained with non-saline waste systems.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016