Gene-Centric Metagenome Analysis Reveals Gene Clusters for Carbon Monoxide Conversion and Validates Isolation of a Clostridial Acetogen for C2 Chemical Production

Hyunsoo Kang, Byeonghyeok Park, Nicole R. Bolo, Duleepa Pathiraja, Shinyoung Park, Minseok Cha, In G. Choi, In S. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Syngas fermentation is largely dependent on acetogens that occur in various anaerobic environmental samples including soil, sediment, and feces. Here the authors report the metagenomic isolation of acetogens for C2 chemical production from syngas. Screening acetogens for C2 chemical production typically involves detecting the presence of the Wood-Ljungdahl Pathway for carbon monoxide conversion. The authors collect samples from river-bed sediments potentially having conditions suitable for carbon monoxide-converting anaerobes, and enrich the samples under carbon monoxide selection pressure. Changes in the microbial community during the experimental procedure are investigated using both amplicon and shotgun metagenome sequencing. Combined next-generation sequencing techniques enabl in situ tracking of the major acetogenic bacterial group and lead to the discovery of a 16 kb of gene cluster for WLP. The authors isolat an acetogenic clostridial strain from the enrichment culture (strain H21-9). The functional activity of H21-9 is confirmed by its high level of production of C2 chemicals from carbon monoxide (77.4 mM acetate and 2.5 mM of ethanol). This approach of incorporating experimental enrichment with metagenomic analysis can facilitate the discovery of novel strains from environmental habitats by tracking target strains during the screening process, combined with validation of their functional activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800471
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.K. and B.P. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grants from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (No. 20173010092460) and C1 Gas Refinery Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF‐ 2015M3D3A1A01064883).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • acetogens
  • carbon monoxide
  • environmental cultures
  • genome-centric metagenome analysis
  • shotgun metagenome sequencing
  • strain isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine


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