• Li W, Ni J, Cai S, Liu Y, Shen C, Yang H, Chen Y, Tao J, Yu Y, Liu Q. (2019) Variations in microbial community structure and functional gene expression in bio-treatment processes with odorous pollutants. Scientific Reports 9(1), 1/9/2019.

Engineered microbial ecosystems in biofilters have been widely applied to treat odorous gases from industrial emissions. Variations in microbial community structure and function associated with the removal of odorous gases by biofilters are largely unknown. This study performed a metagenomic analysis to discover shifts in microbial community structures in a commercial scale biofilter after treating odorous gas. Our study identified 175,675 functional genes assigned into 43 functional KEGG pathways. Based on the unigene sequences, there were significant changes in microbial community structures in the biofilter after treating odorous gas. The dominant genera were Thiobacillus and Oceanicaulis before the treatment, and were Acidithiobacillus and Ferroplasma after the treatment. A clustering analysis showed that the number of down-regulated microbes exceeded the number of up-regulated microbes, suggesting that odorous gas treatment reduced in microbial community structures. A differential expression analysis identified 29,975 up- and 452,599 down-regulated genes. An enrichment analysis showed 17 classic types of xenobiotic biodegradation pathways. The results identified 16 and 15 genes involved in ammonia and sulfite metabolism, respectively; an analysis of their relative abundance identified several up-regulated genes, which may be efficient genes involved in removing odorous gases. The data provided in this study demonstrate the changes in microbial communities and help identify the dominant microflora and genes that play key roles in treating odorous gases.

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