Assessment of Feather Hydrolysate From Thermophilic Actinomycetes for Soil Amendment and Biological Control Application

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 The Stephan Angeloff Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl. 26, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

2 University of Forestry, 10 Kliment Ohridski Blvd., 1156 Sofia, Bulgaria

3 Agricultural University, 12 Mendeleev Blvd., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Protein-rich hydrolysate from feather waste was obtained using a mixed culture of selected
thermophilic actinomycete strains, and was tested for possible application as soil amendment and biological control agent. For this purpose, a 4 months laboratory experiment was carried out using two types of urban soils (Sofia, Bulgaria): native park soil and anthropogenic soil. The effect of the obtained hydrolysate on some soil parameters (pH, some enzyme activities and microbial activity), seed germination and ryegrass growth, and activity against some plant pathogenic fungi was studied. The results demonstrated that soil enrichment with the organic solution in low concentrations exerted a positive effect on soil urease and microbial activity, seed germination and ryegrass growth, and this trend was better expressed in the anthropogenic soils. Feather
hydrolysate showed good activity against plant pathogenic fungi Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, Mucor sp. and Aspergillus niger. Produced antifungal compounds were isolated and partially characterized as amphiphilic peptides. To the best of our knowledge, antifungal peptides produced by Thermoactinomyces sp. have not been reported. Therefore, the feather hydrolysate obtained by means of the mixed culture of Thermoactinomyces strains has potential to be used as alternative organic amendment for restoration of contaminated soils and for accelerating ryegrass growth. It could successfully used also for as biocontrol agent applicable to crop plant soil.