Protozoa and their bacterial prey colonize sterile soil fast

Andreas Altenburger, Flemming Ekelund, Carsten Suhr Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We know little about the ability of protozoa to colonize soils, including their successional patterns. To elucidate this issue, we investigated in which order different protozoan morpho-types colonize sterile soil. We used sterilized soils with different carbon content, and exposed them to the atmosphere for a period of 14 months. Bacteria and flagellates occurred in high numbers after 25 days. Ciliates reached high abundance levels after 137 days, followed by amoebae after 245 days. Numbers of distinguishable protozoan morpho-types increased until 245 days after exposure and declined thereafter. DGGE bands showed a remarkable shift in bacterial diversity with time and a significant increase of detectable gene-types until day 137.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1639
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Biology & Biochemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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