Electrokinetic remediation has been successfully used to remove organic contaminants and heavy metals within soil. The electrokinetic process changes basic soil properties, but little is known about the impact of this remediation technology on indigenous soil microbial activities. This study reports on the effects of electrokinetic remediation on indigenous microbial activity and community within diesel contaminated soil. The main removal mechanism of diesel was electroosmosis and most of the bacteria were transported by electroosmosis. After 25 days of electrokinetic remediation (0.63 mA cm(-2)), soil pH developed from pH 3.5 near the anode to pH 10.8 near the cathode. The soil pH change by electrokinetics reduced microbial cell number and microbial diversity. Especially the number of culturable bacteria decreased significantly and only Bacillus and strains in Bacillales were found as culturable bacteria. The use of EDTA as an electrolyte seemed to have detrimental effects on the soil microbial activity, particularly in the soil near the cathode. On the other hand, the soil dehydrogenase activity was enhanced close to the anode and the analysis of microbial community structure showed the increase of several microbial populations after electrokinetics. It is thought that the main causes of changes in microbial activities were soil pH and direct electric current. The results described here suggest that the application of electrokinetics can be a promising soil remediation technology if soil parameters, electric current, and electrolyte are suitably controlled based on the understanding of interaction between electrokinetics, contaminants, and indigenous microbial community. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.