Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 10, issue 2
Biogeosciences, 10, 1155-1167, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-1155-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 10, 1155-1167, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-1155-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 21 Feb 2013

Research article | 21 Feb 2013

An unknown oxidative metabolism substantially contributes to soil CO2 emissions

V. Maire1,*, G. Alvarez1,2, J. Colombet3, A. Comby1, R. Despinasse4, E. Dubreucq5, M. Joly1, A.-C. Lehours3, V. Perrier5, T. Shahzad1,**, and S. Fontaine1 V. Maire et al.
  • 1INRA, UR 874 UREP, 63100 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 2Clermont Université, VetAgro Sup, 63000, Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 3University of Clermont Ferrand, UMR 6023 LMGE, 63177 Aubière, France
  • 4INRA, UMR 1095 UBP, 63100 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 5Montpellier SupAgro, UMR 1208 IATE, 34060 Montpellier, France
  • *present address: Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
  • **present address: Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad, 38000-Allama Iqbal Road Faisalabad, Pakistan

Abstract. The respiratory release of CO2 from soils is a major determinant of the global carbon cycle. It is traditionally considered that this respiration is an intracellular metabolism consisting of complex biochemical reactions carried out by numerous enzymes and co-factors. Here we show that the endoenzymes released from dead organisms are stabilised in soils and have access to suitable substrates and co-factors to permit function. These enzymes reconstitute an extracellular oxidative metabolism (EXOMET) that may substantially contribute to soil respiration (16 to 48% of CO2 released from soils in the present study). EXOMET and respiration from living organisms should be considered separately when studying effects of environmental factors on the C cycle because EXOMET shows specific properties such as resistance to high temperature and toxic compounds.

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