The morphology of cells and the biomass of microorganisms in the buried paleosols and modern steppe soils of the Lower Volga region
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The morphology of microbial cells was studied, and the biomass of microorganisms was estimated in the modern steppe soils and paleosols buried under kurgans in the Lower Volga region with the methods of electron microscopy. The shape and ultrastructure of the cells in the modern soils and paleosols were similar, though their average volumes differed (0.37 and 0.28 μm3, respectively). The portion of cells with a volume above 1 μm3 in the surface soils and paleosols reached 10.9 and 9.2%, respectively, and the portion of cells with a volume less than 0.01 μm3 in the surface soils was 10% lower than that in the buried paleosols. It was found that the cells of the microorganisms have an external organomineral layer, which increases the cell volume by 4.9 times, and this fact was taken into account in the calculation of the microbial biomass. In the chestnut and light chestnut paleosols, the latter comprised 1500 and 230 μg of C/g soil, respectively.
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