Molecular diversity and functional composition of cellulose degrading communities in anoxic environments

Houghton, James
Molecular diversity and functional composition of cellulose degrading communities in anoxic environments. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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The major fraction of microbial communities cannot be cultivated by artificial means in the laboratory. In order to access the full diversity of microbial life in the open environment it is necessary to employ culture independent methods. Molecular biology and now metagenomics have enabled the phylogenetic and functional investigation of microbial communities without isolation and cultivation of organisms and has led to a new appreciation of the breadth of diversity of microbes on Earth and to the discovery and characterisation of new enzymes. Here, molecular biological techniques have been applied to the study of microbial communities specifically in anaerobic environments and with an emphasis on those involved in the primary degradation of plant cellulosic biomass. Quantitative PCR was used to assess the presence of cellulolytic bacteria both in landfill leachate and specifically in association with cotton cellulose “baits” maintained in leachate microcosms. Lineages of clostridia previously associated with cellulose degrading strains were detected in all five of the landfill leachate samples, and Fibrobacter spp. were detected at low abundance (2.3% of total bacteria) in one sample. Clostridia Group III and Fibrobacter spp. were enriched on the surface of a bait (17% and 29% of total bacteria, respectively) that was rapidly degraded by the colonising community and were present in low abundance (

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-09 (completed)
Subjects: ?? QR ??
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2014 09:02
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 11:03
DOI: 10.17638/00014933
  • McCarthy, Alan
  • Allison, Heather