- The changes of microbial community during agricultural waste composting were successfully studied by quinone profiles. Mesophilic bacteria indicated by MK-7 and mesophilic fungi containing Q-9 as major quinone were predominant and seemed to be important during the initial stage of composting. Actinobacteria indicated by a series of partially saturated and long-chain menaquinones were preponderant during the thermophilic period. While Actinobacteria, fungi and some bacteria, especially those microbes containing MK-7(H4) found in Gram-positive bacteria with a low G+C content or Actinobacteria were found cooperate during the latter maturating period. Since lignocellulose is abundant in the agricultural wastes and its degradation is essential for the operation of composting, it's important to establish the correlation between the quinone profiles changes and lignocellulose degradation. The microbes containing Q-9 or Q-10(H2) as major quinone were found to be the most important hemicellulose and cellulose degrading microorganisms during composting. While the microorganisms containing Q-9(H2) as major quinone and many thermophilic Actinobacteria were believed to be responsible for lignin degradation during agricultural waste composting.