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Marine sequestration of carbon in bacterial metabolites

Titel Pressemitteilung:

Klimawandel: Bakterien spielen wichtige Rolle für langfristige Bindung von Kohlendioxid im Meer

Climate change: bacteria play an important role in the long term storage of carbon in the ocean Rolle für langfristige Bindung von Kohlendioxid im Meer

Oct 2015 BGC
Dr. Oliver Lechtenfeld PDF Publication
Core statement:

Linking microbial metabolomics and carbon sequestration in the ocean via refractory organic
molecules has been hampered by the chemical complexity of dissolved organic matter
(DOM). Here, using bioassay experiments and ultra-high resolution metabolic profiling, we
demonstrate that marine bacteria rapidly utilize simple organic molecules and produce
exometabolites of remarkable molecular and structural diversity. Bacterial DOM is similar in
chemical composition and structural complexity to naturally occurring DOM in sea water.
An appreciable fraction of bacterial DOM has molecular and structural properties that are
consistent with those of refractory molecules in the ocean, indicating a dominant role for
bacteria in shaping the refractory nature of marine DOM. The rapid production of chemically
complex and persistent molecules from simple biochemicals demonstrates a positive
feedback between primary production and refractory DOM formation. It appears that carbon
sequestration in diverse and structurally complex dissolved molecules that persist in the
environment is largely driven by bacteria.

Core statement Pressemitteilung:

Leipzig, Columbia (SC), Neuherberg. The ocean is a large reservoir of dissolved organic molecules, and many of these molecules are stable against microbial utilization for hundreds to thousands of years. They contain a similar amount of carbon as compared to carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the University of South Carolina and the Helmholtz Centre Munich found answers to questions about the origin of these persistent molecules in a study published in Nature Communications.

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