A unique compost called Satsuma soil is produced from sewage sludge by a hyperthermal composting process in Kagoshima City, Japan. The composting process is carried out at a controlled temperature of at least 80°C and the resulting compost might be useful for recycling sustainable agricultural products. The extremely thermophilic bacterial genus Calditerricola was initially isolated from the high-temperature compost. Likewise, the bacteria were previously isolated from material sludge. It is believed that bacteria in this genus might be involved in the hyperthermal composting process. Calditerricola bacteria are distributed not only in compost, but also in all of its material sludge, and are more abundant in material sludge than in compost. Moreover, based on investigations of samples near geothermal areas in high temperature conditions, such as volcanoes, Calditerricola was presumed to originate in the volcanic ash of Mt. Sakurajima in Kagoshima City, Japan. However, its precise origin and ecology are unclear. Thus, in this study, a new molecular biological method called enrichment most probable number (MPN)-PCR (eMPN-PCR) was established and used to quantitatively investigate the population and distribution of the extreme thermophile Calditerricola in environmental samples using genus-specific PCR primers. The eMPN-PCR method was an effective quantitative detection method with high sensitivity, yielding MPN estimates that were highly correlated with colony forming unit (CFU) estimates but a low detection threshold value.
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