Research – Microbial Consortium Associated with Crustacean Shells Composting

MDPI

Soil microbes play an essential role in the biodegradation of crustacean shells, which is the process of sustainable bioconversion to chitin derivatives ultimately resulting in the promotion of plant growth properties. While a number of microorganisms with chitinolytic properties have been characterized, little is known about the microbial taxa that participate in this process either by active chitin degradation or by facilitation of this activity through nutritional cooperation and composting with the chitinolytic microorganisms. In this study, we evaluated the transformation of the soil microbiome triggered by close approximation to the green crab shell surface. Our data indicate that the microbial community associated with green crab shell matter undergoes significant specialized changes, which was reflected in a decreased fungal and bacterial Shannon diversity and evenness and in a dramatic alteration in the community composition. The relative abundance of several bacterial and fungal genera including bacteria FlavobacteriumClostridiumPseudomonas, and Sanguibacter and fungi MortierellaMycochlamys, and Talaromyces were increased with approximation to the shell surface. Association with the shell triggered significant changes in microbial cooperation that incorporate microorganisms that were previously reported to be involved in chitin degradation as well as ones with no reported chitinolytic activity. Our study indicates that the biodegradation of crab shells in soil incorporates a consortium of microorganisms that might provide a more efficient way for bioconversion. View Full-Text

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