Effect of Composting Under Semipermeable Film on the Sewage Sludge Virome
The addition of compost from sewage sludge to soils represents a sustainable option from an environmental and economic point of view, which involves the valorisation of these wastes. However, before their use as a soil amendment, compost has to reach the quality levels according to the normative, including microbial parameters. Viruses are not included in this regulation and they can produce agricultural problems and human diseases if the compost is not well sanitised. In this study, we carried out the analysis of the viral populations during a composting process with sewage sludge at an industrial scale, using semipermeable cover technology. Viral community was characterised by the presence of plant viruses and bacteriophages of enteric bacteria. The phytopathogen viruses were the group with the highest relative abundance in the sewage sludge sample and at 70 days of the composting process. The diversity of bacterial viruses and their specificity, with respect to the more abundant bacterial taxa throughout the process, highlights the importance of the interrelations between viral and bacterial communities in the control of pathogenic communities. These results suggest the possibility of using them as a tool to predict the effectiveness of the process.
KeywordsComposting process Virome Sewage sludge Electron microscopy Ion torrent
The authors would like to acknowledge the Environmental Microbiology Research Group [RNM-270] of the University of Granada (Spain).
This research was conducted with funding from Junta de Andalucía [Research project RNM-7370]. E. A. would like to thank the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funds [RYC-2013-12481]. We acknowledge financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding no. P4-0092).
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