An acidulocomposting system for the treatment of cattle manure with little emission of ammonia gas was developed, and the structure of its microbial community was investigated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and clone library construction. An acidulocomposting apparatus (BC20, 20. L) was operated for 79. days to treat 2. kg (wet wt) of garbage per 1 or 2. days. On day 80 of operation, the substrate was changed from garbage to cattle manure (1. kg of beef cattle manure was added to the apparatus every 2 or 3. days), and the system continued operating from days 80 to 158. The compost in the vessel was under acidic conditions at pH 5.2-5.8, and ammonia emission was below the detectable level (< 5 ppm) throughout the period of cattle manure feeding. Total nitrogen and total carbon in the compost were 26-29 and 439 - 466 mg/g of dry weight, respectively, which are higher than those in general cattle manure compost. The main acids accumulated during operation were lactic and acetic. Sequencing analysis targeting the 16S rRNA gene revealed the stable dominance of the bacterial phylum Firmicutes, with a high proportion of the isolates belonging to the genus Bacillus. Using a culturing method with MRS agar, we isolated lactic acid bacteria (LAB) related to Pediococcus acidilactici, Weissella paramesenteroides, and Lactobacillus salivarius, indicating the existence of LAB in the system. These results indicate that acidulocomposting treatment of cattle manure is not accompanied by ammonia emission and that Bacillus and LAB may be the key components in the system.
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