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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil Biology & Biochemistry

Culturable Escherichia coli in Soil Mixed with Two Types of Manure


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 3, p. 763-769
    Received: Nov 24, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): aunc@uottawa.ca
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  1. Adrian Unc *a and
  2. Michael J. Gossb
  1. a Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology, Univ. of Ottawa, Guindon Hall, 451 Smyth Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 8M5
    b Land and Water Stewardship, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1


We evaluated the impact of the manure type used in soil–manure mixtures on the detection of culturable E. coli as tested in water quality monitoring. A series of incubation experiments, lasting up to 200 d, allowed evaluation of the potential impact of manure × soil interactions on the augmentation of culturable E. coli Two soil types (sandy loam and a silt loam), two manure types (liquid swine manure and solid beef cattle manure), and three temperature levels (4, 12, and 20°C) were investigated. The significance of the presence of competing microorganisms was estimated by comparing results from manure mixtures with sterile and nonsterile soils. Water content in the soil–manure mixtures was maintained close to field capacity to eliminate the specific impact of water availability. We found that culturability of the indicator organism, E. coli, changed with time and was dependent on the type of manure used and its interaction with soil. Escherichia coli could be cultured for a longer time from soils with liquid manure additions. Whereas E. coli numbers were initially higher from soils treated with solid beef cattle manure, their numbers decreased more rapidly and the duration of their apparent survival was shorter. Resilience of culturable E. coli was independent of their initial numbers in manure.

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