Plant and Soil

, Volume 312, Issue 1–2, pp 175–184 | Cite as

Organic acid extraction from rhizosphere soil: effect of field-moist, dried and frozen samples

  • T. Mimmo
  • M. Ghizzi
  • C. Marzadori
  • C. E. Gessa
Regular Article


This study investigates the effect of soil treatment and storage on organic acid extraction. For this study one clayey-loamy (Typic Udochrept) and one sandy-loamy (Aquic Ustifluvent) soil were selected and used to grow Lupinus albus L. plants in a climate chamber. After 4 weeks the rhizosphere soil was sampled and divided into five portions: (a) field moist, no storage; (b) air-dried; (c) oven-dried, (d) field-moist at +4°C for 8 weeks; (e) field-moist at −20°C for 8 weeks. Organic acid extraction (1:4 w/v) was carried out for each soil portion both in water and in 10 mM NaH2PO4. Organic acid concentration was subsequently determined by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Oxalic, fumaric, malonic and α-ketoglutaric acid were identified in the rhizosphere of both soils but the extractable concentration was significantly higher in the sandy-loamy soil. For both soils NaH2PO4 extracted significantly higher organic acid concentrations than water. Oven drying increased the extractability of organic acids in both soils. Field moist samples (i.e. where no storage occurred) of the sandy-loamy soil showed a similar behaviour than −20° stored samples whereas the one of the sandy-loamy soil were more close to the air-dried samples. These results indicate that organic acid extraction strongly depends on soil storage as well as on the soil type. Sample storage seems thus to be a crucial issue for the determination of organic acids in rhizosphere soil and needs to be considered prior analysis.


Organic acid Rhizosphere Soil storage Soil treatment 



The authors thank Dr. Anna Nastri (DISTA, University of Bologna) for advice and support for statistical analysis.


  1. Bartlett R, James B (1980) Studying dried, stored soil samples—some pitfalls. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:721–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baziramakenga R, Simard RR, Leroux GD (1995) Determination of organic acids in soil extracts by ion chromatography. Soil Biol Biochem 27:349–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blake L, Goulding KWT, Mott CJB, Poulton PR (2000) Temporal changes in chemical properties of air-dried stored soils and their interpretation for long-term experiments. Eur J Soil Sci 51:345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burgstaller W, Schinner F (1993) Leaching of metals with fungi. J Biotechnol 27:91–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Christ MJ, David MB (1996) Temperature and moisture effects on the production of dissolved organic carbon in a Spodosol. Soil Biol Biochem 28:1191–1199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coxson ES, Parkinson D (1987) Winter respiratory activity in aspen woodland forest floor litter and soils. Soil Biol Biochem 19:49–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Egle K, Romer W, Keller H (2003) Exudation of low molecular weight organic acids by Lupinus albus L., Lupinus angustifolius L. and Lupinus luteus L. as affected by phosphorus supply. Agronomie 23:511–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Griffiths RP, Baham JE, Caldwell BA (1994) Soil solution chemistry of ectomycorrhizal mats in forest soil. Soil Biol Biochem 26:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Homann PS, Grigal DF (1992) Molecular weight distribution of soluble organics from laboratory-manipulated surface soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 56:1350–1310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jones DL (1998) Organic acids in the rhizosphere—a critical review. Plant Soil 205:25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lee YB, Lorenz N, Dick LK, Dick RP (2007) Cold storage and pretreatment incubation effects on soil microbial properties. Soil Sci Soc Am J 71:1299–1350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Neumann G, Römheld V (1999) Root excretion of carbocxylie acids and protons in phosphorus-deficient plants. Plant Soil 211:121–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. OECD (1995) Final report of the OECD workshop on selection of soils/sediments. Belgirate, Italy, p 55Google Scholar
  14. Olsen SR, Cole CV, Watanabe FS, Dean LA (1954) Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium carbonate. USDA circular 939. U.S. Gov. Print. Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Peltovuori T, Soinne H (2005) Phosphorus solubility and sorption in frozen, air-dried and field moist soil. Eur J Soil Sci 56:821–826Google Scholar
  16. Pérez DV, de Campos RC, Meneguelli NA (2003) Effects of soil sample storage treatment on the composition and Fe, Al and Mn Speciation of soil solutions obtained by centrifugation. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 151:195–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Raveh A, Avnimelech Y (1978) The effect of drying on the colloidal properties and stability of humic compounds. Plant Soil 50:545–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. SAS Institute (1988) SAS/STAT user’s guide, release 6.03 edition. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  19. Simonsson M, Berggren D, Gustafsson JP (1999) Solubility of aluminum and silica in spodic horizons as affected by drying and freezing. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63:1116–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ström L, Owen AG, Godbold DL, Jones DL (2001) Organic acid behaviour in a calcareous soil; sorption reactions and biodegradation rated. Soil Biol Biochem 33:2125–2133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ström L, Owen AG, Godbold DL, Jones DL (2002) Organic acid mediated P mobilization in the rhizosphere and uptake by maize roots. Soil Biol Biochem 34:703–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Turner BJ (2005) Storage-induced changes in phosphorus solubility of air-dried soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 69:630–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Mimmo
    • 1
  • M. Ghizzi
    • 1
  • C. Marzadori
    • 1
  • C. E. Gessa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agroenvironmental Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations