Event Title

Isolating and Culturing Methanogens from Fermenter Samples: A First Step Towards Synthetic Biogas Producing Microbial Communities

Presentation Type

Powerpoint Presentation

Start Date

23-4-2019 12:00 AM

End Date

23-4-2019 12:00 AM

Description

Award for Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation.

Abstract

With the threat of climate change upon us, the need for bio renewable energy has never been more necessary. As major influences to our climate, we have the responsibility to take care of our planet and prevent further denaturing. A potential solution is through biogas as a renewable energy source. Biogas can be produced from waste products such as manure from dairy farms and can be converted into electricity. The aim of this project was to isolate and culture the microorganisms responsible for methane production and provide a stable system for biogas delivery. As a first step toward this goal, we developed a simple but effective protocol for isolating and culturing methanogens under anaerobic conditions using anaerobic cylinders and gaspaks to produce an oxygen-depleted environment. Using a sample from a batch fermentation experiment and a pure culture of the methanogen Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii as a control, samples were tested for growth in thioglycolate and Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) media under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Tubes that exhibited growth exclusively under anaerobiosis were selected and transferred to both SAB and BHI agar plates and grown under anaerobic conditions to obtain isolated colonies. Isolated colonies were then inoculated into hungate tubes (tubes specially designed to culture anaerobes) with corresponding media and allowed to grow. Methane was recorded between 40 ppm and 80 ppm for Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii in BHI and SAB media and above 640 ppm from tubes containing combined mixtures of isolates from the fermenter sample suggesting that they contained either a high concentration of a single methanogen or many different species of methanogens. Mixed culture tubes that tested positive for methane were further isolated using plates containing BHI within anaerobic culturing conditions and tested for methane production until isolated methanogens of a single colony morphology were obtained and could be further characterized.

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Apr 23rd, 12:00 AM Apr 23rd, 12:00 AM

Isolating and Culturing Methanogens from Fermenter Samples: A First Step Towards Synthetic Biogas Producing Microbial Communities

Award for Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation.

Abstract

With the threat of climate change upon us, the need for bio renewable energy has never been more necessary. As major influences to our climate, we have the responsibility to take care of our planet and prevent further denaturing. A potential solution is through biogas as a renewable energy source. Biogas can be produced from waste products such as manure from dairy farms and can be converted into electricity. The aim of this project was to isolate and culture the microorganisms responsible for methane production and provide a stable system for biogas delivery. As a first step toward this goal, we developed a simple but effective protocol for isolating and culturing methanogens under anaerobic conditions using anaerobic cylinders and gaspaks to produce an oxygen-depleted environment. Using a sample from a batch fermentation experiment and a pure culture of the methanogen Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii as a control, samples were tested for growth in thioglycolate and Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) media under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Tubes that exhibited growth exclusively under anaerobiosis were selected and transferred to both SAB and BHI agar plates and grown under anaerobic conditions to obtain isolated colonies. Isolated colonies were then inoculated into hungate tubes (tubes specially designed to culture anaerobes) with corresponding media and allowed to grow. Methane was recorded between 40 ppm and 80 ppm for Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii in BHI and SAB media and above 640 ppm from tubes containing combined mixtures of isolates from the fermenter sample suggesting that they contained either a high concentration of a single methanogen or many different species of methanogens. Mixed culture tubes that tested positive for methane were further isolated using plates containing BHI within anaerobic culturing conditions and tested for methane production until isolated methanogens of a single colony morphology were obtained and could be further characterized.