Microbial capacities drive waste stabilization and resource recovery in environmental friendly processes. Depending on the composition of waste, a stress-mediated selection process ensures a scenario that generates a specific enrichment of microbial community. These communities dynamically change over a period of time while keeping the performance through the required utilization capacities. Depending on the environmental conditions, these communities select the appropriate partners so as to maintain the desired functional capacities. However, the complexities of these organizations are difficult to study. Individual member ratios and sharing of genetic intelligence collectively decide the enrichment and survival of these communities. The next-generation sequencing options with the depth of structure and function analysis have emerged as a tool that could provide the finer details of the underlying bioprocesses associated and shared in environmental niches. These tools can help in identification of the key biochemical events and monitoring of expression of associated phenotypes that will support the operation and maintenance of waste management systems. In this chapter, we link genomic tools with process optimization and/or management, which could be applied for decision making and/or upscaling. This review describes both, the aerobic and anaerobic, options of waste utilization process with the microbial community functioning as flocs, granules, or biofilms. There are a number of challenges involved in harnessing the microbial community intelligence with associated functional plasticity for efficient extension of microbial capacities for resource recycling and waste management. Mismanaged wastes could lead to undesired genotypes such as antibiotic/multidrug-resistant microbes.
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