Dynamics of bacterial communities in a pilot scale methane biofilter

  • Author / Creator
    Miazga-Rodriguez, Misha D
  • Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide with a global warming potential over 100 years 25 times that of CO2. Today, anthropogenic sources of methane comprise 60% of the global methane budget per year and tools for mitigating emissions have become increasingly important to limit climate change. One such tool is methane biofilters (MBF) which utilize biological metabolism, mainly the metabolism of methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB), to scrub methane. To date, the majority of research on MBFs has focussed on the physical aspects of biofilter function rather than the biological component. In this study, bacterial and MOB communities in a pilot scale MBF were studied over the course of a year to assess how these communities change over time and in response to the presence or absence of CH4. The bacterial and MOB communities were assessed by analyzing 16S rRNA and methane monooxygenase subunit A (pmoA) genes using DGGE, T-RFLP, RFLP, and qPCR methodologies. The MBF bacterial community composition changed in response to the presence or absence of methane. The MOB community composition was unaffected by methane input; the dominant community members being related to the Methylomicrobium and Methylobacter genera and lower abundance members belonging to the Methylocaldum and Methylocystis genera. The size of the bacterial community and the MOB community was numerically larger when methane was present and smaller when methane was absent. Enrichment experiments yielded a MOB related to the Methylomicrobium genus. No published studies could be found that presented both pmoA sequence data or provided general bacterial community information from a functional pilot scale MBF as a function of methane input. Hence, the data from this study add new information to our understanding of bacterial community dynamics in a pilot scale MBF.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Buchanan, Ian (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Foght, Julia (Biological Sciences)
    • Szymanski, Christine (Biological Sciences)