Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Microbiol., 13 June 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00164

Insights into fungal communities in composts revealed by 454-pyrosequencing: implications for human health and safety

  • 1Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, St. Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • 2O.N. Allen Laboratory for Soil Microbiology, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Fungal community composition in composts of lignocellulosic wastes was assessed via 454-pyrosequencing of ITS1 libraries derived from the three major composting phases. Ascomycota represented most (93%) of the 27,987 fungal sequences. A total of 102 genera, 120 species, and 222 operational taxonomic units (OTUs; >97% similarity) were identified. Thirty genera predominated (ca. 94% of the sequences), and at the species level, sequences matching Chaetomium funicola and Fusarium oxysporum were the most abundant (26 and 12%, respectively). In all composts, fungal diversity in the mature phase exceeded that of the mesophilic phase, but there was no consistent pattern in diversity changes occurring in the thermophilic phase. Fifteen species of human pathogens were identified, eight of which have not been previously identified in composts. This study demonstrated that deep sequencing can elucidate fungal community diversity in composts, and that this information can have important implications for compost use and human health.

Keywords: compost, fungi, pathogens, 454-pyrosequencing, diversity

Citation: De Gannes V, Eudoxie G and Hickey WJ (2013) Insights into fungal communities in composts revealed by 454-pyrosequencing: implications for human health and safety. Front. Microbiol. 4:164. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00164

Received: 12 March 2013; Accepted: 03 June 2013;
Published online: 13 June 2013.

Edited by:

Aurelio Briones, University of Idaho, USA

Reviewed by:

Andrey M. Yurkov, Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Germany
Claude Murat, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France

Copyright © 2013 De Gannes, Eudoxie and Hickey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: William J. Hickey, O.N. Allen Laboratory for Soil Microbiology, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1525 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA e-mail: wjhickey@wisc.edu

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