Assessment of microbial roles in the bioconversion of paper mill sludge through vermicomposting

  • Ram Kumar Ganguly
  • Susanta Kumar Chakraborty
Research Article



Main thrust of the present study is to determine the role of microbes in changing the proportion and turnover of nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen during vermicomposting of paper mill sludge through the assessment of β-glucosidase and Leucine arylamidase activities.


The change in the ratio of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) during sludge composting using paper mill sludge, cow dung, straw in the ratio of 5:4:1 have been determined alongside observing β-glucosidase and Leucine arylamidase activities in different phases (0th, 30th and 60th days) of vermicomposting. The present study also assessed the bacterial assemblages in order to predict their role as major producers of these enzymes as estimated by Vitek 2 system.


A declining trend of C/N ratio was observed which exhibited significant negative and positive correlations with the activity of β-glucosidase and Leucine arylamidase respectively. Twenty-four strains were isolated under two genus Bacillus spp. and Lysinibacillus spp. which revealed differential sensitivity towards major carbon and nitrogen turnover mediating enzymes.


Change in the activities of carbon and nitrogen turnover enzymes due to microbial growth and proliferation are the mediator for the change in C/N ratio.


Cowdung Bacterial isolates C/N ratio Turnover enzymes Sludge composting 



The authors acknowledge Vidyasagar University for supporting with all sorts of library and laboratory facilities. Thanks are due to YAAZHXENOMICS (Tamilnadu) for supporting with sequencing purpose. Help rendered by research scholars, Mr. Sujoy Midya and Mr. Sayan Bhattacharya for the maintenance of vermiculture bed is thankfully acknowledged. Authors are grateful to the Editor and anonymous reviewers for support from time to time.

Author’s contributions

All the authors participate fully in performing this work. Most of the work like isolation and identification of bacteria, enzyme activity analysis and Vitek compact2 sensitivity test was done by RKG. Vermiculture bed maintenance, the collection of sample and writing of manuscript were done together by both the authors.


No financial help from any authorization was received during the course of study as all the authors were self-employed.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable for this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Kumar Ganguly
    • 1
  • Susanta Kumar Chakraborty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyVidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia

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