Mechanisms of allicin exposure for the sludge fermentation enhancement: Focusing on the fermentation processes and microbial metabolic traits

Yang Wu , Feng Wang , Jingyang Luo , Shiyu Fang , Wenxuan Huang , Yunqi Zhang , Le Zhang , Xiaoshi Cheng , Wei Du , Fang Fang , Jiashun Cao


Received June 23, 2021,Revised , Accepted July 22, 2021, Available online August 09, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 253-264

As a frequently used product with antimicrobial activity, consumed allicin might be discharged and concentrated in waste-activated sludge (WAS). However, the influence of allicin (as an exogenous pollutant) on WAS fermentation has not been clearly revealed. This study aimed to disclose the impacts of allicin on volatile fatty acid (VFA) generation during WAS fermentation. The results showed that the appropriate presence of allicin (10 mg/g TSS) significantly enhanced the VFA yield (1894 versus 575 mg COD/L in the control) with increased acetate proportion (24.3%). Further exploration found that allicin promoted WAS solubilization, hydrolysis and acidification simultaneously. Metagenomic analysis revealed that the key genes involved in extracellular hydrolysis metabolism (i.e., CAZymes), membrane transport (i.e., gtsA and ytfT), substrate metabolism (i.e., yhdR and pfkC) and fatty acid synthesis (i.e., accA and accD) were all highly expressed. Allicin also induced the bacteria to produce more signalling molecules and regulate cellular functions, thereby enhancing the microbial adaptive and regulatory capacity to the unfavourable environment. Moreover, the variations in fermentative microbes and their contributions to the upregulation of functional genes (i.e., ytfR, gltL, INV, iolD and pflD) for VFA generation were disclosed. Overall, the simultaneous stimulation of functional microbial abundances and metabolic activities contributed to VFA production in allicin-conditioned reactors.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3