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Origin and development of fungal communities in an engineered biofilter

posted on 2024-02-13, 13:07 authored by Jason Oliver, Zewei Song, Jonathan S. Schilling

Microbial communities underpin the performance of biofilters used for treating pollutants, but community ‘seeding’ and development is not well understood, particularly for fungi. Fungi have unique biocatalytic potential in biofilters, and identifying their inoculum sources and community succession can inform design and management strategies to improve biofilter operation. Our goal was to track fungal community development in a full-scale woodchip biofilter treating air exhaust from a swine barn facility. We sequenced fungal ITS-1 amplicons 1) from potential inoculum sources (fresh wood chip media; manure from pits below pig housing) and 2) from wood chip biofilms at the inlet and outlet of the biofilter, sampling annually over 3 years. Inlet and outlet fungal communities were distinct at the outset, but became increasingly similar by year 3. A shift from Basidiomycetes and yeasts to Ascomycetes and molds was associated with a loss of richness as the community became dominated by fungi that originated from the manure exhaust. Notably, dominant taxa were pig skin dermatophytes, likely seeded continuously from within the barn. These patterns differ from those in natural wood decomposition studies, and the results suggest that hygiene within the barn will affect the performance of biofilters located outside of the barn, an aspect of biofilter management that has not been exploited. These ‘upstream’ inoculum effects may complicate management, however, our results identify several candidate fungi and an avenue for increasing inoculum potential on a continuous basis that might be valuable for seeding biofilters, improving control, and reduce lag-times during biofilter development.

This repository contains the MiSeq sequencing data for fungal communities in a study on biofilters. The folder contains 42 FASTQ files. The project run summary report specifies additional information on how the FASTQ data were produced for the "Jason" fungal community samples.

This data is shared under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license.

Resources in this dataset:



University of Minnesota


Data contact name

Schilling, Jonathan

Data contact email


University of Minnesota

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • biota

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

fungal communities; biofilters; statistics; bioreactors; ecosystem engineering; inoculum; metagenomics; data collection; pollutants; community development; wood chips; air; swine; barns; internal transcribed spacers; swine housing; biofilm; Basidiomycota; yeasts; Ascomycota; keratinophilic fungi; decayed wood; hygiene; sowing; USDA; food research; Minnesota; agricultural experiment stations; microbiology; computer software

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Oliver, Jason; Song, Zewei; Schilling, Jonathan S. (2017). Origin and development of fungal communities in an engineered biofilter. Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota,

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