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Title (Primary) Fate of gram-negative bacterial biomass in soil-mineralization and contribution to SOM
Author Kindler, R.; Miltner, A. ORCID logo ; Richnow, H.H.; Kästner, M.
Journal Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Year 2006
Department ISOBIO; UBT
Volume 38
Issue 9
Page From 2860
Page To 2870
Language englisch
Abstract Soil microorganisms contribute to the formation of non-living soil organic matter (SOM) by metabolic transformation of plant-derived material. After cell death, their biomass components with a specific molecular character become incorporated into SOM imprinting its chemical properties, although this process has not yet been quantified. In order to elucidate the contribution to SOM formation, we investigated the fate of gram-negative bacterial model biomass (Escherichia coli usually introduced into soil with manure or feces) during incubation of soil with isotopically (13C) and genetically (lux gene) labeled cells. The decline of living cells was monitored by the loss of bioluminescence. The carbon turnover and mineralization was balanced by bulk soil stable isotope analysis, and the persistence of nucleic acids was investigated by PCR amplification of the lux gene. During incubation, the number of viable E. coli cells decreased rapidly (99.9% within the first 42 d) serving as substrate for other microorganisms or for the formation of SOM, and bioluminescent cells could only be detected during the first 56 d. However, the lux gene was still detected after 224 d, which indicates stabilization of DNA in SOM. Although the survival of E. coli in soil is limited, only about 65% of the added labeled biomass carbon was mineralized to 13CO2 and 51% remained in soil after 224 d with an average 13C recovery of 117%. The amount of 13C found in the PLFA representative of living cells had decreased to 25% of the initial value, suggesting a proportional decrease of the 13C in the soil microbial biomass. The extent of this decrease is higher than the mineralization of the bulk E. coli C and thus the difference of around 25% has to be stabilized as metabolites, or in non-living SOM. The data provide evidence that the genetic information and a considerable part of the carbon from dying bacterial biomass were retained in both the soil microbial food web and in non-living SOM.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Kindler, R., Miltner, A., Richnow, H.H., Kästner, M. (2006):
Fate of gram-negative bacterial biomass in soil-mineralization and contribution to SOM
Soil Biol. Biochem. 38 (9), 2860 - 2870