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Environ Technol. 2005 Oct;26(10):1101-13.

Microbial community dynamics in manure composts based on 16S and 18S rDNA T-RFLP profiles.

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115F Science Building, Department of Natural Sciences, The University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI 48128, USA.


Compost processing is assumed to be related to the microbial communities present. However, methods that will evaluate these relationships are not well understood. In this study, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis was used to evaluate the diversity of PCR-amplified bacterial 16S and fungal 18S rDNA communities from manure composts at different stages of composting (initial [day 0], thermophilic [day 24], and mature [day 104]). Results showed that the bacterial and fungal community profiles changed over the composting process, with bacterial communities showing a higher diversity compared with the fungal communities. During the thermophilic stage (day 24), the diversity of the bacterial communities increased, while the fungal communities decreased. As the compost reached maturity (day 104), a reverse pattern was observed between the diversity of bacterial and fungal communities. That is, the 18S rDNA T-RFLP-based diversity indices increased, while the 16S rDNA T-RFLP-based diversity decreased. Differences in temperature profiles at different stages of composting impacted the chemical properties and the diversity of the microbial communities. The day 104 compost (mature) had lower water, organic matter and C contents and higher C and OM loss compared with the day 0 (initial) and day 24 (thermophilic) composts, which affected the diversity of the microbial communities. The results presented here demonstrated that distinctive community patterns from manure composts could be rapidly generated using T-RFLP analysis. The succession of peaks in combination of increasing and decreasing peak heights at different stage of composting indicates the high potential of T-RFLP technique to monitor the dynamics of microbial communities, and their variation qualitatively and quantitatively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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