Stable-isotopic analysis and high-throughput pyrosequencing reveal the coupling process and bacteria in microaerobic and hypoxic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification.


Key Laboratory of Environmental and Applied Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Microaerobic and hypoxic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (MAME-D and HYME-D) occur in stabilized landfills with leachate recirculation when biological denitrification is limited by lack of organics. To evaluate nitrate denitrification efficiency and culture MAME-D/HYME-D involved bacteria, a leach bed bioreactor semi-continuous experiment was conducted for 60 days in 5 runs, under nitrate concentrations ranging of 20 mg/L-55 mg/L, wherein 5% sterile leachate was added during runs 4 and 5. Although the HYME-D system demonstrated high denitrification efficiency (74.93%) and nitrate removal rate reached 2.62 mmol N/(L⋅d), the MAME-D system exhibited a denitrification efficiency of almost 100% and nitrate removal rate of 4.37 mmol N/(L⋅d). The addition of sterile leachate increased the nitrate removal rate in both systems, but caused the decrease of methane consumption in HYME-D. A stable isotope batch experiment was carried out to investigate the metabolic products by monitoring the 13CO2 and 15N2O production. The production of organic intermediates such as citrate, lactic acid, acetate, and propionic acid were also observed, which exhibited a higher yield in HYME-D. Variations in the microbial communities were analyzed during the semi-continuous experiment. MAME-D was mainly conducted by the association of type Ⅰ methanotroph Methylomonas and the methylotrophic denitrifier Methylotenera. Methane fermentation processed by Methylomonas under hypoxic conditions produced more complex organic intermediates and increased the diversity of related heterotrophic denitrifiers. The addition of sterile real leachate, resulting in increase of COD/N, influenced the microbial community of HYME-D system significantly.


Methane oxidation coupled to denitrification,Methanotrophic bacteria,Methylotrophic bacteria,Microbial diversity,Stable isotope tracer,