Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 939–947 | Cite as

Influence of ciprofloxacin on microbial community structure and function in soils

  • Hao Cui
  • Shu-Ping WangEmail author
  • Jin Fu
  • Zhi-Qiang Zhou
  • Na Zhang
  • Li Guo
Original Paper


Microcosm experiments were designed to investigate the effects of the widely used antibiotic ciprofloxacin (CIP) on soil microbial communities by using four different concentrations (0, 1, 5, and 50 mg kg−1 of soil) and five sampling times (1, 3, 9, 22, and 40 days). Untreated controls only received water. The addition of CIP significantly decreased microbial biomass (p < 0.05) but did not affect soil respiration at high doses. Potential nitrification rates were stimulated at low CIP concentrations (1 mg kg−1) and inhibited at high CIP concentrations (50 mg kg−1) after 9 days of incubation. The nitrate and ammonium contents of soil were not altered after CIP addition at any time. The structure of soil microbial communities was assessed by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The addition of CIP decreased the ratio of bacteria to fungi and increased the ratio of Gram-positive to Gram-negative bacteria. Principal component analysis of the PLFA data clearly distinguished among the different CIP concentrations. Redundancy analysis indicated that the CIP concentration and incubation time explained 33.5 % of the total variance in the PLFA data. These results confirmed that a single addition of CIP can influence structure and function of microbial communities in soil.


Ciprofloxacin Soil microbial communities Incubation experiment Phospholipid fatty acids Potential nitrification rate 



This work was supported by the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KZCX2-EW-QN606), the Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41230750), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40771215). We thank Pei Leng and Lei Sun for their assistance with the sample collection and Yanjie Liu for the data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hao Cui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shu-Ping Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jin Fu
    • 3
  • Zhi-Qiang Zhou
    • 1
  • Na Zhang
    • 1
  • Li Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Research Unit Microbe–Plant Interactions, Department of Environmental SciencesHelmholtz Zentrum München German Research Center for Environmental HealthNeuherbergGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU)Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyGarmisch-PartenkirchenGermany

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