Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 927–935 | Cite as

Continuing Impacts of Selective Inhibition on Bacterial and Fungal Communities in an Agricultural Soil

  • Yanshuo Pan
  • Yucheng WuEmail author
  • Xuanzhen Li
  • Jun Zeng
  • Xiangui Lin
Soil Microbiology


Selective inhibition (SI) has been routinely used to differentiate the contributions of bacteria and fungi to soil ecological processes. SI experiments typically measured rapid responses within hours since the addition of inhibitor, but the long-term effects of selective biocides on microbial community composition and function were largely unknown. In this study, a microcosm experiment was performed with an agricultural soil to explore the effectiveness of two bactericides (bronopol, streptomycin) and two fungicides (cycloheximide, captan), which were applied at two different concentrations (2 and 10 mg g−1). The microcosms were incubated for 6 weeks. A radiolabeled substrate, [1,2,3,4,4a,9a-14C] anthracene, was spiked to all microcosms, and the derived CO2 was monitored during the incubation. The abundance and composition of bacteria and fungi were assessed by qPCR and Miseq sequencing of ribosomal rRNA genes. It was demonstrated that only 2 mg g−1 bronopol and cycloheximide significantly changed the bacteria to fungi ratio without apparent non-target inhibition on the abundances; however, community shifts were observed in all treatments after 6 weeks incubation. The enrichment of specific taxa implicated a selection of resistant or adapted microbes by these biocides. Mineralization of anthracene was continuingly suppressed in all SI microcosms, which may result in biased estimate of bacterial and fungal contributions to pollutant degradation. These findings highlight the risks of long-term application of selective inhibition, and a preliminary assessment of biocide selection and concentration is highly recommended.


Selective inhibition Bacteria to fungi ratio Community composition Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon Mineralization 



We thank Prof. Rong Ji for the help in 14C analysis.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671266).

Supplementary material

248_2019_1364_MOESM1_ESM.docx (140 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 140 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanshuo Pan
    • 1
  • Yucheng Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xuanzhen Li
    • 2
  • Jun Zeng
    • 1
  • Xiangui Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of ForestryHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina

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