SUMMARY: The utilization and translocation of C by micro-organisms, especially fungi, was shown to occur during the decomposition of labelled plant residues in agar cultures and in soil. Utilization was demonstrated by the evolution of CO and by autoradiograms that showed C within micro-organisms. Translocation was indicated by labelled structures occurring on coverslips at a distance from the substrate, and by the labelling of sclerotia which had accumulated C preferentially nearly 1 cm. from the plant residues. sp. and , shown to be cellulolytic on cotton cellulose agar, were similarly active in agar and soil cultures containing radioactive plant residues. Labelled structures of spp., spp., spp. and fungi with non-sporing dark mycelia were detected in non-sterile soil during the later stages of the decomposition of the labelled plant residues when a marked fall in carbon content was occurring. The autoradiographic technique employed here enables organisms that probably act as primary agents in the degradation of plant residues to be distinguished from those that do not.


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