Identification of fungi associated with municipal compost using DNA-based techniques

Bioresour Technol. 2010 Feb;101(3):1021-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.08.109. Epub 2009 Sep 18.


Fungi are important in terrestrial decay processes. However, fungi associated with organic decay during composting are still not well known. In this study culture-independent methods were used to identify fungi associated with composting organic municipal wastes to gain a better understanding of the diversity of fungi associated with this process. Fungal communities from 0, 210, and 410day-old compost samples were assessed with DNA fingerprinting using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and by the analysis of DNA sequences from rDNA clone libraries. From 207 rDNA sequences, 82 fungal OTU's were detected. A disproportionate number of yeast sequences were detected in Day 0 clone libraries, including the human pathogens Candida tropicalis and Candida krusei (Saccharomycetales). Basidiomycetes accounted for over half of the clones from the Day 210 sample. Clones of Cercophora and Neurospora species accounted for most of the fungal clones of the Day 410 sample. No Zygomycetes or Aspergillus species were detected in this study. These findings call for a reassessment of long held views about the organisms involved in the composting of organic municipal wastes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus / metabolism
  • Candida / metabolism*
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurospora / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Soil*
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Soil
  • DNA