CE43 - Bioéconomie : chimie, biotechnologie, procédés et approches système, de la biomasse aux usages

Coupling statistics and multi-omics to gain new insights in the determinants of anaerobic microbial bioprocess stability – STABILICS

Submission summary

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a microbiological process of degradation of the organic matter which produces biogas rich in methane that can be converted into valuable electrical and thermal energy. It is commonly used to manage different types of organic waste at industrial scale using anaerobic digesters. However, this bioprocess is not fully mastered and still has an important potential for improvement. One of the major limitations of AD is the important susceptibility of the microbial communities to changes in operational conditions of the digesters. It can lead to unstable methane formation. Controlling AD microbial community stability, though, is not a trivial task. Knowledge on the determinants of anaerobic microbial process stability (i.e. the conditions and the succession of microbial events that allow maintaining a balance after a disruption or, on the contrary, that generate a domino effect leading to total failure) over time is still missing. Emerging omics high-throughput approaches can now lead to unprecedented data to portray AD microbiome. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics enable to describe a community at different levels (genes, gene expression, and metabolites production). Appropriate and efficient analytical methods are required to analyse these big and complex data and unravel the intricate networks of functional processes of AD. Novel computational and statistical methods are progressively becoming available to fully harvest and integrate these complex datasets. In this context, the aim of STABILICS is to conduct the first sets of high-throughput multi-omics longitudinal experiments, with an unprecedented sampling depth, in anaerobic digesters under constant environmental parameters or subject to different model perturbations created by the addition of NaCl. Experiments in lab-scale semi-continuous reactors will be set-up and monitored in the long run (more than one year). Two levels of analysis will be applied. 1) A high frequency monitoring of different descriptors of microbiota activity, where non-targeted metabolomics and isotopic analyses will characterise the degradation pathways and metabarcoding of RNA and DNA will target both active and present microorganisms. 2) An in-depth monitoring of microbiota functioning with both metagenomics and metatranscriptomics on selected samples and conditions. These unprecedented sets of data will be thoroughly analysed and integrated using cutting-edge statistical methods. For example, multivariate dimension reduction methods will be used for data mining, omics integration and feature selection; specific analytical framework for longitudinal data will be developed. The objectives of this interdisciplinary project will be 1) to evaluate at different omics levels the dynamics of AD microbiome in long term and replicated time course experiments, 2) to describe the succession of events that, under stress, leads to microbiota equilibrium unbalance and digester disruption or on the contrary microbiota equilibrium preservation and maintenance of stability, 3) to propose an original analytical framework of multi-omics longitudinal studies accounting for temporality, and 4) to deliver generic knowledge to understand the determinants of perturbations.

Project coordinator


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IMT Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse
LCM Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire
University of Melbourne / Melbourne Integrated Genomics

Help of the ANR 220,703 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2020 - 42 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter