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Research article2007Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of differing temperature management on development of Actinobacteria populations during composting

Steger K, Jarvis A, Vasara T, Romantschuk M, Sundh I


Actinobacteria are believed to play a major role in organic matter degradation and humification processes in composts. In this study, the effects of different temperature regimes on the succession of Actinobacteria populations during composting were investigated in a laboratory reactor. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) was used to investigate quantitative changes in the overall microbial biomass and community structure, and in the size of Actinobacteria populations. Qualitative changes were determined using PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes with Actinobacteria-specific primers. The peak in total microbial biomass was roughly twice as high and delayed in trials where the maximum temperature was 40 degrees C, compared to those where it was 55 or 67 degrees C. There was a shift from members of Corynebacterium, Rhodococcus and Streptomyces at the onset to species of thermotolerant Actinobacteria in the cooling phase, e.g. Saccharonzonospora viridis, Thermobifida fusca and Thermobispora bispora. In conclusion, temperature was an important selective factor for the development of Actinobacteria populations in composts, and they constituted a substantial part of the community in the later compost stages. (c) 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved

Published in

Research in Microbiology
2007, Volume: 158, number: 7, pages: 617-624