Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Microbiol. 2006 Nov;8(11):1960-74.

Microbial community related to volatile organic compound (VOC) emission in household biowaste.

Author information

Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.


Malodorous emissions and potentially pathogenic microorganisms which develop during domestic organic waste collection are not only a nuisance but may also pose health risks. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the presence of specific microorganisms in biowastes is directly related to the composition of the emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The succession of microbial communities during 16 days of storage in organic waste collection bins was studied by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of amplified 16S ribosomal DNA in parallel with a classical cultivation and isolation approach. Approximately 60 different bacterial species and 20 different fungal species were isolated. Additionally, some bacterial species were identified through sequencing of excised DGGE bands. Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) was used to detect VOCs over the sampling periods, and co-inertia analyses of VOC concentrations with DGGE band intensities were conducted. Positive correlations, indicating production of the respective VOC or enhancement of microbial growth, and negative correlations, indicating the use of, or microbial inhibition by the respective compound, were found for the different VOCs. Measurement of the VOC emission pattern from a pure culture of Lactococcus lactis confirmed the positive correlations for the protonated masses 89 (tentatively identified as butyric acid), 63 (tentatively identified as dimethylsulfide), 69 (likely isoprene) and 73 (likely butanone).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center