Dead in the water – Role of relic DNA and primer choice for targeted sequencing surveys of anaerobic sewage sludge intended for biological monitoring

1 Mar 2024

DNA-based monitoring of microbial communities that are responsible for the performance of anaerobic digestion of sewage wastes has the potential to improve resource recoveries for wastewater treatment facilities.

By treating sludge with propidium monoazide (PMA) prior to amplicon sequencing, this study explored how the presence of DNA from dead microbial biomass carried over with feed sludge may mislead process-relevant biomarkers, and whether primer choice impacts such assessments.

Four common primers were selected for amplicon preparation, also to determine if universal primers have sufficient taxonomic or functional coverage for monitoring ecological performance; or whether two domain-specific primers for Bacteria and Archaea are necessary.

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