Laboratory of Microbial Ecotechnology
Irina A. Arkhipchenko,
Head, Dr. Biol. Sci., Professor
ARRIAM, Podbelsky Sh., 3
In 1981 by the initiative of O.A. Berestetskiy, Director of the Institute,
a team for livestock manure utilization was formed under the leadership of
I.A. Arkhipchenko to solve the problem of microbiological treatment of
livestock manure. In 1989 the team was successfully transformed into a
laboratory of Microbial Ecotechnology.
The laboratory staff contains 12 specialists: one Professor of Biological
Sciences, two Doctors of Biological Sciences, three Ph.D. students,
engineers and technicians. Scientific field of research is a combination
of various subjects: microbiology, biotechnology, agrochemistry, soil
biology and ecology.
Effect of Omug on green and root development of Galega orientalis Lam
Main scientific interests of the laboratory include:
- Study of physiology of microbial communities and continuous cultivation
of microbial populations during decomposition of organic waste and
- Development of methods to control the activity of microbial communities
in natural and artificial ecosystems, study of regularities of microbial
community growth and development on organic substrates.
- Development of technology for organic waste and sewage treatment and
optimization of biotechnological processes.
- Development of technologies to produce and apply microbial fertilizers
which are an association of active microorganisms cultivated on organic
substrate under aerobic fermentation and ecological-economic evaluation of
their role in agro-system.
- Analysis and assessment of the role of organic matter active pool as a
regulator of microbial community actions.
Effect of microbial fertilizers on cabbage roots infected with a clubroot of crucifers
Such famous scientists and microbiologists as Prof. I.L. Rabotnova,
academicians E.N. Mishustin and G.A. Zavarsin played a great role in the
formation of the laboratory field of research.
A series of experiments working out the ways to intensify the operation of
treatment installations at large pig farms has been conducted at the
laboratory. The experiments were based on an ecological and physiological
principle for the evaluation of microbial communities functions in
artificial ecosystems. Application of this approach made it possible to
reveal and remove factors limiting microbiological oxidation of organic
waste. On the basis of the research, new techniques intensifying the
operation of treatment installations at "Vostochnyi" pig farm have been
designed and the energy consumption has been reduced. Peculiarities of
microbocenosis in aerotank active sludge have been studied. The Atlas of
active sludge biocenosis structure under various technological regimes at
treatment installations has been compiled, which enables carrying out
express evaluations of treatment system operational regimes.
M.E. Shibaeva, Ph.D. student and O.V. Orlova, senior researcher, Ph.D. (on the right), on a business trip in the South Korea
Another important problem the laboratory deals with - it is the development
of theoretical basement for biotechnology of livestock, poultry and
municipal waste treatment in order to develop both biofertilizers for
sustainable agriculture and soil mixtures for landscape and park design.
Theoretical grounds to control the activity of microorganisms under aerobic
decomposition of organic waste have been developed at the laboratory,
allowing to form microbial communities with given physiological activities
and control microorganism metabolism and substrate decomposition level.
Theoretical research in this field made it possible to develop an original
approach to create technological schemes for microbiological treatment of
organic waste different in content and origin.
A method for the production of a physiologically active microbial
association with high nitrogen and phosphorus content has been developed
and patented. The association serves as a basis for "Bamil" biofertilizer
production. In 1998 at the contest of scientific developments of the
Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences "Bamil" was awarded Premium II
having been marked as the best-accomplished work.
Experimental workshop for the production of microbial fertilizers has been
constructed. A wide range of field and greenhouse tests have been carried
out and recommendations for the application of fertilizers have been
developed aimed at high quality yield increase: by 80-100% in field and
by 15-25% in greenhouses.
Pilot installation to produce microbial fertilizer "Bamil"
Positive effects of microbial fertilizer applications in environmental protection and organic agriculture
Scientific research in the field of studying microbial transformation of
poultry dung and municipal waste has been carried out. Experimental lots
of biofertilizers and composts, which gained a wide recognition among
gardeners and farmers, have been produced.
Results obtained by the laboratory can serve as a basement for the
development and application of new types of microbial fertilizers from
different organic waste. Microbial fertilizers are characterized by high
content of main bioorganic elements and useful microflora possessing plant
growth promoting properties and antagonistic action against
phytopathogenic fungi. They are polyfunctional fertilizers combining
useful properties of mineral and organic fertilizers.
Theoretical ground for the application mode of microbial fertilizers to
increase biological activity of soil cenosis has been created.
Methods for the application of microbial fertilizers for soil reclamation
and remediation of oil-contaminated soils have been worked out. These
research results were introduced into practice in the South Czech and
awarded Golden medal of the Czech Republic.
Microbiological association capable for oil destruction in soil cenosis
has been isolated at the laboratory. Experimental lots of the association
composition have been successfully tested in the Usinsk Region and in the
North-West of Russia under the support of JSC "Lukoil". Introduction of
the association ensures oil decomposition by 60-80% during 2-3 months
(even in areas with cool summers) and reclamation of soil biological
activity. The result can be considerably intensified if the association is
applied together with organic substrate - microbial fertilizer from animal
waste ("Bamil" or "Omug"). Then soil remediation can be accomplished in a
shorter period and with better results.
In addition, a collection of microorganism cultures improving the
properties of fertilizers produced by fermentation from organic mixture of
waste and sawdust has been created. Microorganisms intensify decomposition
of less available organic substances, provide for nitrogen bounding and
decrease nitrogen losses, and promote plant growth properties of
fertilizers. A collection of typical bacterial cultures capable for
decomposition of complex organic compounds has been created.
A complex method for the evaluation of microbial community activities in
biocomposts and biofertilizers aimed at their standardization and
certification has been developed. The method can serve as a criterion to
evaluate the quality and efficiency of fertilizers.
The laboratory enjoys well-developed scientific contacts with specialists
from Holland, Finland, Czech, Sweden and other countries. Joint research
under International projects and grants, as well as conferences and
workshops, are constantly carried out. Young scientists and Ph.D. students
of the laboratory regularly go abroad for trainings and scholarships.
Research developments of the laboratory were implemented into practice at
the largest pig farms of Russia (for optimization and intensification of
treatment installations); at poultry farms of the Leningrad Oblast; at oil
extracting company "Lukoil" for remediation of oil-contaminated soils; at
greenhouse firms "Leto" and "Vyiborzhets" (Saint-Petersburg); at
Experimental plant for municipal waste treatment to produce high quality
composts and soil mixtures (Saint-Petersburg); at "Phart" firm to produce
soil and peat mixtures, etc.
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