Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 386–392 | Cite as

Short-term partitioning of 14C-[U]-glucose in the soil microbial pool under varied aeration status

  • Hana Šantrůčková
  • Tomáš Picek
  • Richard Tykva
  • Miloslav Šimek
  • Bohumil Pavlů
Original Paper


The effect of soil aeration status on carbon partitioning of a labelled organic substrate (14C-[U]-glucose) into CO2, microbial biomass, and extra-cellular metabolites is described. The soil was incubated in a continuous flow incubation apparatus under four different aeration conditions: (1) permanently aerobic, (2) permanently anaerobic, (3) shifted from anaerobic to aerobic, and (4) shifted from aerobic to anaerobic. The soil was pre-incubated for 10 days either under aerobic or under anaerobic conditions. Afterwards, glucose was added (315 μg C g−1) and the soils were incubated for 72 h according to four treatments: aerobic or anaerobic conditions maintained, aerobic conditions shifted to anaerobic conditions and anaerobic conditions shifted to aerobic conditions. Carbon partitioning was measured 0, 8, 16, 24, 48 and 72 h after the glucose addition. In permanently aerobic conditions, the largest part of the consumed glucose was built into microbial biomass (72%), much less was mineralised to CO2 (27%), and only a negligible portion was transformed to soluble extra-cellular metabolites. Microbial metabolism was strongly inhibited when aeration conditions were changed from aerobic to anaerobic, with only about 35% of the added glucose consumed during the incubation. The consumed glucose was transformed proportionally to microbial biomass and CO2. In permanently anaerobic conditions, 42% of the consumed glucose was transformed into microbial biomass, 30% to CO2, and 28% to extra-cellular metabolites. After a shift of anaerobic to aerobic conditions, microbial metabolism was not suppressed and the consumed glucose was transformed mainly to microbial biomass (75%) and CO2 (23%). Concomitant mineralisation of soil organic carbon was always lower in anaerobic than in aerobic conditions.


Carbon partitioning Priming action Microbial biomass 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hana Šantrůčková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tomáš Picek
    • 1
  • Richard Tykva
    • 3
  • Miloslav Šimek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bohumil Pavlů
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Biological SciencesUniversity of South BohemiaCeské BudejoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Soil BiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicCeské BudejoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of Organic Chemistry and BiochemistryAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

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