Thermodynamic restrictions determine ammonia tolerance of methanogenic pathways in Methanosarcina barkeri

Yue Yi, Jan Dolfing, Ge Jin, XiaoYu Fang, WenHao Han, LaiYan Liu, YueQin Tang*, Lei Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Ammonia is a ubiquitous potential inhibitor of anaerobic digestion processes, mainly exhibiting inhibition towards methanogenic activity. However, knowledge as to how ammonia affects the methanogens is still limited. In this study, we cultured a multitrophic methanogen, Methanosarcina barkeri DSM 800, with acetate, H /CO , and methanol to evaluate the influence of ammonia on different methanogenic pathways. Aceticlastic methanogenesis was more sensitive to increased ammonia concentrations than hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic methanogenesis. Theoretical maximum NH tolerances of M. barkeri fed with acetate, H /CO , and methanol were calculated to be 39.1 ± 9.0, 104.3 ± 7.4, and 85.7 ± 1.0 mg/L, respectively. The order of the ΔG range of M. barkeri under three methanogenic pathways reflected the order of ammonia tolerance of M. barkeri. Our results provide insights into the role of the thermodynamic potential of methanogenesis on the tolerance of ammonia stress; and shed light on the mechanism of ammonia inhibition on anaerobic digestion. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number119664
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalWater Research
Early online date24 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


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