Composting is an advantageous and efficient process for recycling organic waste and producing organic fertilizers, and many kinds of microorganisms are involved in obtaining quality compost with suppressive activity against soil-borne pathogens. The aim of this work was to evaluate the main differences in the effects of three composting piles on the whole bacterial and fungal communities of baby-leaf lettuce crops and to determine the specific communities by high-throughput sequencing related to suppressiveness against the soil-borne plant pathogen Pythium irregulare- (P. irregulare). Compost pile A was composed of 47% vineyard pruning waste, 34% tomato waste and 19% leek waste; pile B was composed of 54% vineyard pruning waste and 46% tomato waste; and pile C was composed of 42% vineyard pruning waste, 25% tomato waste and 33% olive mill cake. The temperature and the chemical properties of the piles were monitored throughout the composting process. In addition, the potential suppressive capacity of the three composts (C_A, C_B and C_C) against P. irregulare in baby-leaf lettuce was assessed. We found that the bacterial community changed according to the composting phases and composting pile and was sensitive to chemical changes throughout the composting process. The fungal community, on the other hand, did not change between the composting piles and proved to be less influenced by chemical properties, but it did change, principally, according to the composting phases. All composts obtained were considered stable and mature, while compost C_C showed higher maturity than composts C_A and C_B. During composting, the three piles contained a greater relative abundance of Bacterioidetes, Proteobacterias and Actinobacterias related to the suppression of soil-borne pathogens such as Pythium irregulare. Composts C_A and C_B, however, showed higher suppressiveness against P. irregulare than compost C_C. Deeper study showed that this observed suppressiveness was favored by a higher abundance of genera that have been described as potential suppressive against P. irregulare, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Truepera and Luteimonas.
Keywords: Agro-industrial wastes; Chemical factors; Composting process; Microbial community; Pythium irregulare suppressiveness.
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