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Science of The Total Environment
Vol. 587-588, 2017, Pages: 232–239

Pyrosequencing-based assessment of microbial community shifts in leachate from animal carcass burial lysimeter

Hyun Young Kim, Jiyoung Seo, Tae-Hun Kim, Bomi Shim, Seok Mun Cha, Seungho Yu

Radiation Research Division for Industry and Environment, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup-Si, Jeollabuk-Do 56212, Republic of Korea.


This study examined the use of microbial community structure as a bio-indicator of decomposition levels. High-throughput pyrosequencing technology was used to assess the shift in microbial community of leachate from animal carcass lysimeter. The leachate samples were collected monthly for one year and a total of 164,639 pyrosequencing reads were obtained and used in the taxonomic classification and operational taxonomy units (OTUs) distribution analysis based on sequence similarity. Our results show considerable changes in the phylum-level bacterial composition, suggesting that the microbial community is a sensitive parameter affected by the burial environment. The phylum classification results showed that Proteobacteria (Pseudomonas) were the most influential taxa in earlier decomposition stage whereas Firmicutes (ClostridiumSporanaerobacter, and Peptostreptococcus) were dominant in later stage under anaerobic conditions. The result of this study can provide useful information on a time series of leachate profiles of microbial community structures and suggest patterns of microbial diversity in livestock burial sites. In addition, this result can be applicable to predict the decomposition stages under clay loam based soil conditions of animal livestock.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Animal carcass disposal; Leachate; Pyrosequencing; Microbial community.

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