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Microbial communities in biogas plants

In my doctoral research, I investigate microbial processes in biogas reactors during the anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic substrates. Biogas reactors contain microbial communities, including Archaea, Bacteria and, Phages, which are responsible for biogas production. The focus of my research is specifically on microbial processes in semi-continuous biogas reactors. The aim is to characterize the structure and functionality of the microbiome and its dynamics during the ongoing biogas processes. We aim to identify the main biotic (i.e., microorganisms) and abiotic factors that are crucial for biogas production. To this end, we do a comprehensive analysis of physicochemical properties and microbial communities of our biogas reactors. Microbial communities are studied at metagenome, metatrascriptome, and metaproteome levels. Furthermore, we study bacteriophage populations in our biogas reactors using a combination of classical and molecular methods to identify their role in shaping microbial communities composition and dynamics.


This project is carried out at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy Potsdam, and the Technical University Berlin. It is funded by the Agency for Renewable Resources of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

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Katharina Willenb├╝cher
+49 30 314 73752
Room BH-N 606