AuthorBABIKER, HASHIM MAHMOUD.
AdvisorPepper, Ian L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEthylene (C₂H₄) production was monitored in twelve desert soils incubated moist at constant temperature for various incubation periods. In all but two soils with high organic matter content, C₂H₄ production was low. Statistical analysis showed a good correlation between organic matter content and C₂H₄ production. Minimum levels of C₂H₄ were observed in saline and sodic soils. Adding ethanol, glucose, glycerol and methionine to soil samples significantly increased C₂H₄ formation. Methionine induced the highest level of C₂H₄ in all soils tested. Increased concentrations of methionine resulted in further significant increases in C₂H₄ production possibly indicating its role as a precursor for C₂H₄. Chloramphenicol did not have a significant effect except in a saline soil suggesting that bacterial C₂H₄ production is of less significance in the other soils. The addition of salts to the high C₂H₄ producing soils suppressed C₂H₄ production most likely because of a direct effect on C₂H₄ producing microorganisms through toxic salt levels, high osmotic pressure and/or increased pH. Leaching of four saline soils and subsequent incubation resulted in significant increases in C₂H₄ in two soils. Ethylene producers, previously inhibited by salinity, were probably reactivated when the salts were removed. A Fusarium isolate obtained from the highest C₂H₄ producing soil, produced the most C₂H₄ in pure culture followed by isolates belonging to the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Curvillaria, and Rhizopus. In a comparative study, a number of species, some of which were known to produce C₂H₄, were tested in culture media. Nine species produced C₂H₄ in varying amounts of which Penicillium digitatum produced the highest concentration. A sterilized saline soil produced significant C₂H₄ when inoculated with spores of Mucor hiemalis and the Fusarium isolate, 5 to 14 times that in non-sterilized soil probably indicating an originally low population of C₂H₄ producing organisms. The amounts of C₂H₄ produced in sterilized inoculated mollisol and garden soils were only a fraction of that produced in non-sterilized samples probably indicating the involvement of a number of species in the production of C₂H₄ in these soils.
Degree ProgramSoils, Water and Engineering