Dynamics and functions of biomarker taxa determine substrate-specific organic waste composting

Yudan Bai, Dong Wu*, Jan Dolfing, Liangmao Zhang, Bing Xie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteria are an influential component of diverse composting microbiomes, but their structure and underlying dynamics are poorly understood. This study analyzed the bacterial communities of 577 compost datasets globally and constructed a substrate-dependent catalog with more than 15 million non-redundant 16S rRNA gene sequences. Using a random-forest machine-learning model, 30 biomarker taxa were identified that accurately distinguish between the food, sludge and manure waste composting microbiomes (accuracy >98 %). These biomarker taxa were closely associated with carbon and nitrogen metabolic processes, during which they contributed to the predominant stochastic process and are influenced by different factors in the substrate-specific composts. This is corroborated by the community topological characteristics, which feature the biomarkers as keystone taxa maintaining the bacterial network stability. These findings provide a theoretical basis to identify and enhance the biomarker-functional bacteria for optimizing the composting performance of different organic wastes. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number130118
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date27 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Cite this