Heterophase Synthesis of Humic Acids in Soils by Immobilized Phenol Oxidases

  • A. G. ZavarzinaEmail author
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 22)


Adsorption complexes of humic substances with soil minerals comprise the bulk of organic matter in humus horizons of cold and temperate soils. They represent the most stable Corg fraction in soils with mean residence time of 102–103 years. A considerable fraction of adsorbed organic matter is represented by high molecular weight (50–100 kDa) humic acid–like polymers. The concept of sorptive preservation cannot explain the origin of such polymers on mineral surfaces, because their migration to adsorption sites should be limited by low solubility. It can be suggested that high molecular weight humic acid–like polymers are formed in situ in mineral soil horizons. A possible mechanism is heterophase polymerization of low molecular weight (and thus soluble) precursor material in presence of catalytically active solid phases. The chapter summarizes available data supporting the concept of surface polymerization of humic acids and provides an evidence for the key role of immobilized phenol oxidases and solid matrix in accelerating this process.


Humic Substance Humic Acid Fulvic Acid Mineral Surface Phenol Oxidase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work was supported by the Programme No. 15 of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Origin of the Biosphere and Evolution of Geobiological systems” and Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research grant No. 09-04-00570. The author expresses her sincere gratefulness to Prof. Richard P. Beckett for English revision and to Dr. Alexander A. Lisov for the assistance in preparation of Figs. 10.1, 10.3, and 10.4.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Soil ScienceMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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