The aim of this study was to determine the potential of bioaugmentation with cellulolytic rumen microbiota to enhance the anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic feedstock. An anaerobic cellulolytic culture was enriched from sheep rumen fluid using wheat straw as substrate under mesophilic conditions. To investigate the effects of bioaugmentation on methane production from straw, the enrichment culture was added to batch reactors in proportions of 2% (Set-1) and 4% (Set-2) of the microbial cell number of the standard inoculum slurry. The methane production in the bioaugmented reactors was higher than in the control reactors. After 30 days of batch incubation, the average methane yield was 154 mL(N) CH4 g(-1)vs in the control reactors. Addition of 2% enrichment culture did not enhance methane production, whereas in Set -2 the methane yield was increased by 27%. The bacterial communities were examined by 454 amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, while terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting of mcrA genes was applied to analyze the methanogenic communities. The results highlighted that relative abundances of Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae increased during the enrichment. However, Cloacamonaceae, which were abundant in the standard inoculum, dominated the bacterial communities of all batch reactors. T-RFLP profiles revealed that Methanobacteriales were predominant in the rumen fluid, whereas the enrichment culture was dominated by Methanosarcinales. In the batch rectors, the most abundant methanogens were affiliated to Methanobacteriales and Methanomicrobiales. Our results suggest that bioaugmentation with sheep rumen enrichment cultures can enhance the performance of digesters treating lignocellulosic feedstock. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.