Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 389–396 | Cite as

Effect of l-lactic acid from whey wastes on enzyme activities and bacterial diversity of soil

  • Bruno Rodríguez-Morgado
  • Pablo Caballero Jiménez
  • Manuel Tejada Moral
  • Juan Parrado Rubio
Original Paper


The l-lactic acid obtained from a whey waste valorization process decreased pH and increased phosphate solubilization of a Plagic Antrosol soil. This behavior was reversible due to the complete and rapid degradation of lactic acid by soil microorganisms, leading to a strong soil biological stimulation. Both dehydrogenase (DHA) and acid phosphomonoesterase (APA) activities were also significantly stimulated, due to the stimulation of microbial activity, whereas the β-glucosidase activity was unaffected. There was also a shift in bacterial biodiversity with growth of bacterial strains using lactic acid as a C source. The bacteria enriched belonged to the plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPb), such as Rhizobium and Azotobacter genus, involved in N2 fixation, and Pseudomonas and Bacillus genera, involved in phosphorous bioavailability. We conclude that lactic acid application improves fertility parameters on soils. Further research at field scale is needed to confirm these results.


l-Lactic acid Biostimulation Soil enzymatic activities Soil bacterial diversity PCR-DGGE 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Spain), Plan Nacional I+D CTM 2015-64354, and Council of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Junta de Andalucía (RNM-2011-7887). Thanks also to the Biology Service of Centro de Investigación, Tecnología e Innovación de la Universidad de Sevilla (CITIUS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Rodríguez-Morgado
    • 1
  • Pablo Caballero Jiménez
    • 1
  • Manuel Tejada Moral
    • 2
  • Juan Parrado Rubio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Department Crystallography, Mineralogy and Agricultural Chemistry, E.T.S.I.A.University of SevilleSevilleSpain

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