Supplementary Material for: Changes in the Bacterial Community Structure in Stored Wormbed Leachate

Organic wastes, such as cow manure, are often composted with earthworms (vermicomposting) while excess water is drained and collected. This wormbed leachate is nutrient-rich and it has been extensively used to fertilize plants. However, it is derived partially from a not yet finished compost process and could exhibit phytotoxicity or contain potentially hazardous microorganisms. The bacterial community in wormbed leachate derived from vermicomposting of cow manure was studied by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA gene. The fresh wormbed leachate was rich in Mollicutes, particularly the genus <i>Acholeplasma</i> which contain phytopathogen species. The abundance of the Mollicutes decreased when the leachate was stored, while that of the Rhizobiales and the genus <i>Pseudomonas</i> increased. The bacterial communities changed rapidly in the leachate during storage. The changes in ammonium, nitrate and inorganic carbon content of the wormbed leachate when stored were correlated to changes in the bacterial community structure. It was found that storage of the wormbed leachate might be required before it can be applied to crops as large proportions of potentially plant pathogens were found in the fresh leachate.