Insights into evolutionary trends in molecular biology tools in microbial screening for biohydrogen production through dark fermentation

Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Si Kyung Cho, Periyasamy Sivagurunathan, Parthiban Anburajan, Durga Madhab Mahapatra, Jeong Hoon Park, Arivalagan Pugazhendhi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Access to clean energy is vital to combat global warming and climate change, and nothing but hydrogen could better deliver it with ease to secure future energy needs. Biohydrogen could be produced in different routes including photolysis, water-gas shift reaction, dark, photo-fermentation and combination of both. Dark fermentative hydrogen production (DFHP) is efficient in comparison with photo-fermentation and utilizing organic waste ensures land usage and water for agriculture. Several microbes are involved in the process of biohydrogen production via dark fermentation and characterizing them at molecular level unveils holistic approach and understanding. Limited resources were available in terms of molecular tools for microbial characterization and this paper attempts to review the evolution of advanced molecular techniques including their merits and demerits. Understanding the composition of micro-flora is important in DFHP and could be classified as pure, co-cultures, enriched mixed cultures and mixed microbiota. These cultures act as seed sources for batch and continuous fermentations that help in understanding the efficiency of these methods. The schematics and systematic assessment of the various molecular tools (cloning, PCR-DGGE, FISH, NGS, CE-SSCP) for quantification, identification, detection and characterization of the microbial cell activity have been elaborated. Lastly, a comparative tabulation recapitulates the merits and drawbacks of each technique discussed. This provides valued information for choosing the right kind of microbial and molecular assessment tool for future characterization. Such analysis aids in suitable identification and characterization of microflora as potential biocatalysts for biohydrogen production through dark fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19885-19901
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Dongguk University Research fund of 2015.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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