The phylogenetic structure of the microbial community residing in a fermentation sample from a production-scale biogas plant fed with maize silage, green rye and liquid manure was analysed by an integrated approach using clone library sequences and metagenome sequence data obtained by 454-pyrosequencing. Sequencing of 109 clones from a bacterial and an archaeal 16S-rDNA amplicon library revealed that the obtained nucleotide sequences are similar but not identical to 16S-rDNA database sequences derived from different anaerobic environments including digestors and bioreactors. Most of the bacterial 16S-rDNA sequences could be assigned to the phylum Firmicutes with the most abundant class Clostridia and to the class Bacteroidetes, whereas most archaeal 16S-rDNA sequences cluster close to the methanogen Methanoculleus bourgensis. Further sequences of the archaeal library most probably represent so far non-characterised species within the genus Methanoculleus. A similar result derived from phylogenetic analysis of mcrA clone sequences. The mcrA gene product encodes the alpha-subunit of methyl-coenzyme-M reductase involved in the final step of methanogenesis. BLASTn analysis applying stringent settings resulted in assignment of 16S-rDNA metagenome sequence reads to 62 16S-rDNA amplicon sequences thus enabling frequency of abundance estimations for 16S-rDNA clone library sequences. Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) Classifier processing of metagenome 16S-rDNA reads revealed abundance of the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Euryarchaeota and the orders Clostridiales, Bacteroidales and Methanomicrobiales. Moreover, a large fraction of 16S-rDNA metagenome reads could not be assigned to lower taxonomic ranks, demonstrating that numerous microorganisms in the analysed fermentation sample of the biogas plant are still unclassified or unknown.