Abstract Soils may act as sources or sinks of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many of the formed VOCs are produced by microorganisms, and it would be a challenge to investigate soil microbial communities by studying their VOC profile. Such “volatilomics” would have the advantage of avoiding extraction steps that are often a limit in genomic or proteomic approaches. Abundant literature on microbially produced VOCs is available, and in particular novel detection methods allow additional insight. The aim of this paper was to give an overview on the current knowledge of microbial VOC emissions from soils.
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