Syntrophics Bridging the Gap of Methanogenesis in the Jharia Coal Bed Basin

Priyanka Jha, Sujit Ghosh, Kunal Mukhopadhyay, Ashish Sachan and Ambarish S Vidyarthi

The bituminous and sub-bituminous rank of coals is being produced from the Jharia basin of Jharkhand which is the largest producer of CBM in India. Although there have been many reports on methanogenesis from Jharia, the present study deals with the special emphasis on the syntrophic microbes which can act as catalyst for the hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Using the metagenomic approach followed by 454 pyro sequencing, the presence of syntrophic community has been deciphered for the first time from the formation water samples of Jharia coal bed basin. The taxonomic assignment of unassembled clean metagenomic sequences was performed using BLASTX against the GenBank database through MG-RAST server. The class clostridia revealed a sequence affiliation to family Syntrophomonadaceae and class Deltaproteobacteria to family Desulfobacteraceae, Pelobacteraceae, Syntrophaceae, and Syntrophobacteraceae. Results revealed the possibility of thermobiogenic methanogenesis in the coal bed due to the presence of syntrophs related to Syntrophothermus genus. The presence of such communities can aid in biotransformation of coal to methane leading to enhanced energy production