Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 665–703 | Cite as

Volatile Mediated Interactions Between Bacteria and Fungi in the Soil

  • Uta Effmert
  • Janine Kalderás
  • René Warnke
  • Birgit PiechullaEmail author
Review Article


Soil is one of the major habitats of bacteria and fungi. In this arena their interactions are part of a communication network that keeps microhabitats in balance. Prominent mediator molecules of these inter- and intraorganismic relationships are inorganic and organic microbial volatile compounds (mVOCs). In this review the state of the art regarding the wealth of mVOC emission is presented. To date, ca. 300 bacteria and fungi were described as VOC producers and approximately 800 mVOCs were compiled in DOVE-MO (database of volatiles emitted by microorganisms). Furthermore, this paper summarizes morphological and phenotypical alterations and reactions that occur in the organisms due to the presence of mVOCs. These effects might provide clues for elucidating the biological and ecological significance of mVOC emissions and will help to unravel the entirety of belowground‚ volatile-wired’ interactions.


Bacteria Fungi Soil Volatiles Volatile mediated interactions 



The authors thank Prof. Hubert Bahl reading and correcting of Table 1 and the related chapter in the paper, Dr. Marco Kai for critical reading of the manuscript and for drawing Fig. 1, and Robert Penthin, who helped to develop the DOVE-MO database. We are grateful for the funding by the DFG (to BP153/26 and/28).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uta Effmert
    • 1
  • Janine Kalderás
    • 1
  • René Warnke
    • 1
  • Birgit Piechulla
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of RostockRostockGermany

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