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Microbiota Characterization of Agricultural Green Waste-Based Suppressive Composts Using Omics and Classic Approaches
Open AccessArticle

Alpha and Beta-diversity of Microbial Communities Associated to Plant Disease Suppressive Functions of On-farm Green Composts

Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Centro di ricerca Orticoltura e Florovivaismo, via Cavalleggeri 25, 84098 Pontecagnano Faiano, Italy
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy
Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Salerno, via Giovanni Palo II 132, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2020, 10(4), 113;
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 4 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting and Organic Soil Amendments)
Green waste composts are obtained from agricultural production chains; their suppressive properties are increasingly being developed as a promising biological control option in the management of soil-borne phytopathogens. The wide variety of microbes harbored in the compost ecological niches may regulate suppressive functions through not yet fully known underlying mechanisms. This study investigates alpha- and beta-diversity of the compost microbial communities, as indicators of the biological features. Our green composts displayed a differential pattern of suppressiveness over the two assayed pathosystems. Fungal and bacterial densities, as well as catabolic and enzyme functionalities did not correlate with the compost control efficacy on cress disease. Differences in the suppressive potential of composts can be better predicted by the variations in the community levels of physiological profiles indicating that functional alpha-diversity is more predictive than that which is calculated on terminal restriction fragments length polymorphisms (T-RFLPs) targeting the 16S rRNA gene. However, beta-diversity described by nMDS analysis of the Bray–Curtis dissimilarity allowed for separating compost samples into distinct functionally meaningful clusters and indicated that suppressiveness could be regulated by selected groups of microorganisms as major deterministic mechanisms. This study contributes to individuating new suitable characterization procedures applicable to the suppressive green compost chain. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological control; damping-off; microbiome; soil ecology biological control; damping-off; microbiome; soil ecology
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Pane, C.; Sorrentino, R.; Scotti, R.; Molisso, M.; Di Matteo, A.; Celano, G.; Zaccardelli, M. Alpha and Beta-diversity of Microbial Communities Associated to Plant Disease Suppressive Functions of On-farm Green Composts. Agriculture 2020, 10, 113.

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