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Is the enzymatic hydrolysis of soil organic phosphorus compounds limited by enzyme or substrate availability?

Jarosch, K. A.; Kandeler, E.; Frossard, E. and Bünemann, E. K. (2019) Is the enzymatic hydrolysis of soil organic phosphorus compounds limited by enzyme or substrate availability? Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 139, p. 107628.

[thumbnail of jarosch-etal-2019-SoilBiolBiochem-Vol139-107628-p1-11.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0038071719302925


The mineralization of soil organic phosphorus (P) is catalysed by extracellular phosphatases that hydrolyse different non-phytate phosphomonoesters (e.g., sugar phosphates and nucleotides), inositol phosphates (e.g., phytic acids), and phosphodiesters (e.g., nucleic acids, phospholipids). The availabilities of both the organic P compound and the respective phosphatase enzyme jointly determine whether the hydrolysis reaction is substrate limited (enzyme availability > substrate availability) or enzyme limited (enzyme availability < substrate availability), with potential consequences for overall organic P composition and accumulation in soil. Our objective was to evaluate whether the hydrolysis of various organic P compounds in soil is limited by availability of substrate or enzyme. To this end, we combined the principles of enzyme activity assays and enzyme addition assays. Ten soils with contrasting properties and origins received either model organic P substrate, specific phosphatases or a combination of both, added either to a soil:water suspension or a soil:water filtrate. Soil indigenous activity of phosphatases was low in all filtrates, confirming that enzymes were mostly associated with the solid fraction of the soil. In soil suspensions, the rapid hydrolysis of added non-phytate phosphomonoester substrate by soil indigenous enzymes indicated high availability of non-phytase phosphomonoesterase enzymes. In combination with the low availability of non-phytate phosphomonoester substrate in soil suspensions, determined by adding enzymes to the suspensions, this indicated a substrate limitation for the hydrolysis of non-phytate phosphomonoesters in soil. In contrast, enzyme-limitation was found for phytate and phosphodiesters. A review of the available literature on the production, stabilisation and hydrolytic activity of each of the three analysed organic P substrates and the respective enzymes supported our findings. We therefore suggest that not only the production and stabilisation but also differences in available phosphatase enzymes strongly determine the occurrence of specific organic P compounds in soil.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Phosphatase, Organic phosphorus, Phosphorus characterisation, Enzyme activity, soil
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Germany > University of Hohenheim
Switzerland > Other organizations
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:36700
Deposited On:05 Nov 2019 13:17
Last Modified:13 Jan 2021 07:26
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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