MICROBIAL SUCCESSION PATTERN, ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION IN BRASSICA OLERACEA VAR. CAPITATA AT DIFFERENT DECOMPOSITION STAGES
Journal: Plant Physiology and Soil Chemistry
Author: Stephanie Okeyo, Methuselah Mangerere Nyamwange, Ezekiel Mugendi Njeru
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Decomposition is a microbial driven process and man has maximized this natural process in composting which is the biological decomposition of biodegradable solid waste under controlled conditions. In Kenya, waste from Brassica olerecea var. capitata, which is the main vegetable crop accounts for the largest proportion of solid waste generated in food markets. Majority of the population use landfill as a disposal method, although this is neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly. Moreover, cabbage wastes release glucosinolates during the initial stages of decomposition which is deleterious to beneficial biodegradation microbial communities. This study focused on isolating and characterizing microorganisms involved in decomposition, determining microbial succession patterns during decomposing stages, and assessing changes in temperature during decomposition. Leaves of different Brassica cultivars were collected from Githurai food market, Nairobi at four different points. The samples were then piled in sterile bags, three replicates per sample and maintained in a greenhouse for ninety days. Temperature readings were taken after every two days while samples for microbial isolation and characterization were taken after every two weeks. All microorganisms were characterized both morphologically and biochemically. Interestingly, bacterial load CFU/ml differed significantly (P < 0.001) based on the composting stage, where those at stage zero (0) recorded the lowest bacterial load in week 2. Remarkably, 17 bacteria isolates were detected where only three isolates could grow at 55 ºC.