Characterization of the Microbial Community in A Continuous Garbage Treatment Process

  •  Satoshi Matsuda    
  •  Reni Sutri Suherman    
  •  Akira Yanagihara    
  •  Tadashi Yamauchi    


Previously, we developed a “static type” garbage treatment system whose performance exceeds that of conventional garbage treatment systems. However, we could not explain the system’s excellent performance especially from a microbial ecosystem’s stand point (Matsuda et al, 2017). Microbial activity causes the decomposition of organic materials in a garbage treatment process. However, we do not know which microbes are effective in garbage decomposition and what relationship exists between the succession of a microbial community and the decomposition of organic materials in a garbage composting process. 
This study analyzed the relationship between a continuous operation garbage treatment system’s microbial community and the decomposition of organic matter and evaluated for effective microbes in the same garbage treatment system. Although many research articles have been published on the composting processes throughout the world, most of them employ batch processes and not continuous processes. Conversely, most real-world practical composting plants adopt a continuous operation system in which fresh feed is usually input once a day with continuous aeration and intermittent mixing. 
To comprehensively analyze the microbial community, three different approaches were adopted in this study; 1) colony observation, 2) DNA analysis, and 3) the enzymatic activities of each colony.
In our experiment, the working volume was 10 L of leaf mold and 40 g/(day L) of garbage (the organic load) was input to the reactor every day at a fixed time. Dog food with 70 % moisture content was used as a model garbage substrate. The reactor’s internal temperature, the total reactor’s weight and the sampled residue’s weight, moisture content and pH were measured before inputting garbage. Additionally, the reactor’s internal temperature was measured six hours later. The internal temperature was about 55 ℃ at the highest without heating. The organic matter decomposition rate was about 50 % and the weight reduction rate was over 90 %, implying successful garbage decomposition was achieved.
The microbial composition and the number of the colonies seen on the medium plate changed every day and did not realize a “steady state.” Thus an extremely efficient microbe does not exist. Only eleven microbes were isolated; yet many more microbes must exist in the system but were not counted due to a high dilution rate.
From our DNA analysis, the PCR-DGGE profile of the microbial community in the garbage residue showed that bands of isolated colonies were detected in the same positions as the bands of garbage residue, which contained all kinds of microbes. Nine microbes were identified using 16S rRNA genome from eleven isolated ones. The identified microbes were of different bacterial species and their characteristics were examined from the stand point of nutritional property and enzymatic activity. 
The garbage decomposition process consists of two steps, solubilization and metabolization. Extracellular enzymes act during solubilization of solid garbage residue, and intracellular enzymes work when water-soluble substances are taken up into bacterial cells and metabolized. Protease and amylase activity were measured to assess extracellular enzymatic activity and dehydrogenase activity was measured to evaluate intracellular enzymatic activity. The enzyme activities of bacterial strains significantly differed by strain. Results from this study suggest complementary microbial activity and that Bordetella trematum, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtills subtills and Streptomyces thermocarboxydus effectively decompose garbage.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0569
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0577
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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