Bioresource Technology, Vol.166, 132-141, 2014
Antibacterial and enzymatic activity of microbial community during wastewater treatment by pilot scale vermifiltration system
The present study investigated microbial community diversity and antibacterial and enzymatic properties of microorganisms in a pilot-scale vermifiltration system during domestic wastewater treatment. The study included isolation and identification of diverse microbial community by culture-dependent method from a vermifilter (VF) with earthworms and a conventional geofilter (GF) without earthworms. The results of the four months study revealed that presence of earthworms in VF could efficiently remove biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total and fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci and other pathogens. Furthermore, the burrowing activity of earthworms promoted the aeration conditions in VF which led to the predominance of the aerobic microorganisms, accounting for complex microbial community diversity. Antibacterial activity of the isolated microorganisms revealed the mechanism behind the removal of pathogens, which is reported for the first time. Specifically, cellulase, amylase and protease activity is responsible for biodegradation and stabilization of organic matter. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.