compost actinomycetes ?

Colin A. B. Davidson cabd2 at
Mon Sep 10 07:41:34 EST 2001

"Bruce A. Caldwell" <caldwelb at> wrote in message
news:3B967B92.487CFE19 at
>    Just a microbiological note: "compost actinomycetes" are actually
> bacteria.. Long mistaken for fungi based solely on their filamentous
> growth, they have true procaryotes with gram+ cell wall and  bacteria
> ribosomes. In fact, the actinomycetes are the source of most anti-fungal
> antibiotics.

And a hell of a lot of the anti-bacterial antibiotics also.

>    While there are thermophilic fungi that are important in composting,
> actinomycetes are much more important because of their greater temperature
> tolerance.

Quite. One can also spot the presence of actively growing actinomycetes in
good compost by the smell. They produce the archetypal 'wet earth' smell
with which we're all familiar.

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