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Microbial nature of the hydrogen-oxidizing agent in hydrogen-treated soil

McLean, N., Dong, Z.
Biology and fertility of soils 2002 v.35 no.6 pp. 465-469
agricultural soils, clay loam soils, soil bacteria, Actinomycetales, hydrogen, oxidation, soil biology, penicillins, streptomycin, nystatin, antibiotics, carbon dioxide, emissions, Nova Scotia
Experiments have shown that legume soil can promote non-legume plant growth. Although generally attributed to N fertilization of the soil, there are other factors that are additionally responsible. Work has been done in an attempt to characterize this response; fungal agents have been implicated. Other studies have shown H2 to be responsible for plant growth promotion. This work attempts to understand the nature of the H2 uptake agent in soil. The H2 uptake ability of H2-treated soil disappeared when the soil was autoclaved or when glucose was added, suggesting the biotic nature of the H2 uptake agent. Physical disturbance reduced the H2 uptake ability of the soil, indicating the special colonial or long filamentous structure of the H2 uptake agent in soil. The fact that the addition of fungicides did not, in most cases, significantly affect the H2 uptake ability of the soil excluded the fungi as the H2 uptake microorganisms in soil. Addition of antibiotics significantly affected the H2 uptake ability of the soil suggesting the H2 uptake agent in soil is bacterial. The H2 uptake ability of soil was greatly reduced by extremely high concentrations of benomyl and a low concentration of penicillin, indicating that actinomycetes might be the active H2 uptake bacteria in H2-treated soils.