Soil fungistasis: elevation of the exogenous carbon and nitrogen requirements for spore germination by fungistatic volatiles in soils

Can J Microbiol. 1975 Oct;21(10):1468-75. doi: 10.1139/m75-218.


Axenic, washed conidia of Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli, Aspergillus flavus, and Verticillium albo-atrum were placed on washed Difco purified agar discs along with an inorganic salt solution containing various levels of carbon and nitrogen substrates. These discs were exposed to volatiles from six soils (pH 5.1-8.6). Fusarium solani macroconidial germination was inhibited mostly by volatiles from soils of pH 5.1, 6.1, 7.0, and 7.5, but high levels of glucose and NH4Cl reversed this inhibition, raising germination to that of no-soil, no-carbon or nitrogen controls. Conidial germination of A. flavus was inhibited mainly by volatiles from high pH (7.0, 7.8, and 8.6) soils, and increased levels of glucose plus an amino acid mixture nullified this inhibition. Volatiles from soils of pH 5.1, 6.1, and 7.5 stimulated A. flavus conidial germination. Assays after the removal of CO2 from the air above soil of pH 5.1 demonstrated that volatiles inhibitory to A. flavus were produced by this soil. Assays indicated that a KOH-soluble compound was a fungistatic soil volatile to F. solani macroconidial germination. The nullification by carbon and nitrogen substrates of F. solani and A. flavus inhibition caused by soil volatiles parallels that for soil fungistasis. Conidial germination of V. albo-atrum was markedly stimulated by volatiles in all soils tested, and was not affected by removal of CO2. Inhibitory soil volatiles may increase the nutritional requirements for spore germination of certain fungi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aspergillus flavus / growth & development*
  • Aspergillus flavus / metabolism
  • Fusarium / growth & development*
  • Fusarium / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mitosporic Fungi / growth & development*
  • Mitosporic Fungi / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Soil
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Spores, Fungal / growth & development
  • Spores, Fungal / metabolism
  • Volatilization


  • Amino Acids
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Soil
  • Glucose