The Ecological Role of Volatile and Soluble Secondary Metabolites Produced by Soil Bacteria

O. Tyc, C. Song, Jeroen Dickschat, Michiel Vos, P.V. Garbeva (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

294 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


The rich diversity of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria has been appreciated for over a century, and advances in chemical analysis and genome sequencing continue to greatly advance our understanding of this biochemical complexity. However, we are just at the beginning of understanding the physicochemical properties of bacterial metabolites, the factors that govern their production and ecological roles. Interspecific interactions and competitor sensing are among the main biotic factors affecting the production of bacterial secondary metabolites. Many soil bacteria produce both volatile and soluble compounds. In contrast to soluble compounds, volatile organic compounds can diffuse easily through air- and gas-filled pores in the soil and likely play an important role in long-distance microbial interactions. In this review we provide an overview of the most important soluble and volatile classes of secondary metabolites produced by soil bacteria, their ecological roles, and their possible synergistic effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-292
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number4
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • international

Research theme

  • Chemical communication
  • Microbiomes


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  • FEMS 2017

    Olaf Tyc (Participant)

    09 Jul 201716 Jul 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic

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