The effects of adding an adapted inoculum to liquid pig manure (LPM) prior to anaerobic digestion were evaluated by standard analytical methods. In parallel, the phylogenetic diversity of the microbial community of raw and anaerobically digested pig manure was studied by both denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequence analysis of 16S rRNA fragments amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Gas production, volative fatty acid production, removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand, and removal of volatile soluble solids were measured on raw and on inoculated liquid pig manure subjected to anaerobic digestion. DGGE profiles of 16S rRNA genes were used to compare the major elements of the bacterial community composition in raw LPM with those present under various incubation conditions. Major bands were excised and sequenced to gain insight into the identities of the bacterial populations from LPM treated under different conditions. The results show that the addition of an adapted inoculum did not have a major impact on the conversion of pig manure into soluble organic matter and did not significantly change the microbial populations present during anaerobic digestion of LPM. Bacterial composition also indicated that Clostridium species are important constituents of the LPM community.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology54 (15 January 2008): 83–90.