The general scheme of anaerobic digestion is well known. It is a complex process promoted by the interaction of many groups of microorganisms and has four major steps: hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis. The aim of the study was to prepare a systematized list of the selected enzymes responsible for the key pathways of anaerobic digestion based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database resource. The list contains (i) key groups of hydrolases involved in the process of degradation of organic matter; (ii) the enzymes catalyzing reactions leading to pyruvate formation; (iii) the enzymes of metabolic pathways of further pyruvate transformations; (iv) the enzymes of glycerol transformations; (v) the enzymes involved in transformation of gaseous or nongaseous products of acidic fermentations resulting from nonsyntrophic nutritional interactions between microbes; (vi) the enzymes of amino acid fermentations; (vii) the enzymes involved in acetogenesis; and (viii) the enzymes of the recognized pathways of methanogenesis. Searching for the presence and activity of the enzymes as well as linking structure and function of microbial communities allows to develop a fundamental understanding of the processes, leading to methane production. In this contribution, the present study is believed to be a piece to the enzymatic road map of anaerobic digestion research.
Part of the book: Anaerobic Digestion