Research press release


Nature Communications

Climate science: Marine bacteria may drive carbon storage



今回、Oliver Lechtenfeldたちは、バイオアッセイ実験と超高分解能の代謝プロファイリングを行って、海洋細菌により変性したDOMの化学的複雑性を解析した。Lechtenfeldたちは、沿岸海水中の微生物と炭素源と無機栄養素を混ぜて29日間培養し、比較的単純な有機分子が海洋細菌によって難分解性の複雑な分子に急速に転換されることを明らかにした。この実験は実験室内で行われたものだが、海洋細菌により変性したDOMの化学組成と構造的複雑性が海水中で一般的に見られるDOMと似ていることが明らかになった。このことは、有機炭素の隔離において海洋細菌が重要な役割を果たしていることを示唆している。

Marine bacteria may be the dominant force responsible for carbon sequestration in the ocean according to a study published in Nature Communications. The findings suggest that these bacteria play a key role in converting simple organic molecules into structurally complex organic matter that is resistant to degradation.

Marine phytoplankton draw carbon dioxide down from the atmosphere and, via photosynthesis and respiration, convert it into a large reservoir of organic carbon, collectively known as dissolved organic matter (DOM). The fate of this DOM is dependent on how difficult to break down it is. DOM that is easily broken down will be recycled within the marine ecosystem, whereas refractory (difficult to break down) DOM, and the carbon it contains, will be locked away for thousands of years. Bacteria are thought to play a role in this sequestration, but the chemical complexity of bacterially modified DOM and its role in the global carbon cycle is not well constrained.

Oliver Lechtenfeld and colleagues use bioassay experiments and ultra-high resolution metabolic profiling to analyse the chemical complexity of DOM, following modification by marine bacteria. The authors conduct a 29-day incubation of coastal seawater microbes mixed with carbon sources and inorganic nutrients, and show that marine bacteria can rapidly convert relatively simple organic molecules into complex molecules that are very difficult to break down. While the authors’ experiment was conducted in the lab, their findings show that bacterial DOM is similar in chemical composition and structural complexity to DOM commonly found in seawater, which suggests a key role for marine bacteria in sequestration of organic carbon.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms7711

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。