Biochemical characterization with detection and expression of bacterial β-glucosidase encoding genes of a Mediterranean soil under different long-term management practices
The aim of this study was to couple biochemical and molecular methodologies for evaluating the impact of two recycling technologies (composting and vermicomposting) on a toxic organic waste. To do this, six enzyme activities controlling the key metabolic pathways of the breakdown of organic matter, real-time PCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiling-sequence analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA fragments have been used to determine the functional diversity, bacterial number, and bacterial community structure, respectively, in a mixture of olive waste and sheep manure, and in the derived compost and vermicompost. Both the recycling technologies were effective in activating the microbial parameters of the toxic waste, the vermicomposting being the best process to produce greater bacterial diversity, greater bacterial numbers and greater functional diversity. Although several identical populations were detected in the processed and non-processed materials, each technology modified the original microbial communities of the waste in a diverse way, indicating the different roles of each one in the bacterial selection.