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Differential acquisition of amino acid and peptide enantiomers within the soil microbial community and its implications for carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil

Broughton, R.C.I.; Newsham, K.K.; Hill, P.W.; Stott, A.; Jones, D.L.. 2015 Differential acquisition of amino acid and peptide enantiomers within the soil microbial community and its implications for carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 88. 83-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.05.003

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Abstract/Summary

l-isomeric amino acids and oligopeptides are thought to represent a key nitrogen (N) source for plants and soil microorganisms, bypassing the need to take up inorganic N, whilst self-cycling of d-enantiomers within peptidoglycan-containing bacteria may provide a further short circuit within the N cycle. Here we use stable isotope profiling (SIP) to identify the fate of organic N within soil microbial communities. We followed the incorporation of 13C-labelled d- or l-labelled amino acids/peptides into phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). l-alanine and its peptides were taken up more rapidly than d-enantiomers by Gram-positive bacteria with 13C incorporation being predominantly into anteiso- and iso-fatty acids typically associated with Gram-positive bacteria. d-enantiomer uptake was found not to differ significantly between the microbial groups, providing little support for the view that soil bacteria may self-cycle d-forms of amino acids and peptides. There was no consistent association between peptide chain length and incorporation. The concentrations of l- and d-isomeric amino acids in soil solution were 866 nM and 72 nM, respectively. We conclude that Gram-positive bacteria appear to be the primary competitors for l-enantiomeric forms of amino acids and their peptides, but that both d- and l-enantiomers are available N and C sources for bacteria and fungi.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.05.003
Programmes: BAS Programmes > BAS Programmes 2015 > Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptation
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0038-0717
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: Antarctic, dissolved organic nitrogen, DON, isotopic labelling, nutrient cycling
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 01 Jun 2015 11:21 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/510915

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