Soil enzymes in a changing environment: current knowledge and future directions

Burns, Richard G., DeForest, Jared L., Marxsen, Juergen, Sinsabaugh, Robert L., Stromberger, Mary E., Wallenstein, Matthew D., Weintraub, Michael N. and Zoppini, Annamaria (2013) Soil enzymes in a changing environment: current knowledge and future directions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 58 216-234. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.11.009

Author Burns, Richard G.
DeForest, Jared L.
Marxsen, Juergen
Sinsabaugh, Robert L.
Stromberger, Mary E.
Wallenstein, Matthew D.
Weintraub, Michael N.
Zoppini, Annamaria
Title Soil enzymes in a changing environment: current knowledge and future directions
Journal name Soil Biology and Biochemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0038-0717
Publication date 2013-03-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.11.009
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 58
Start page 216
End page 234
Total pages 19
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 2404 Microbiology
1111 Soil Science
Abstract This review focuses on some important and challenging aspects of soil extracellular enzyme research. We report on recent discoveries, identify key research needs and highlight the many opportunities offered by interactions with other microbial enzymologists. The biggest challenges are to understand how the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil affect enzyme production, diffusion, substrate turnover and the proportion of the product that is made available to the producer cells. Thus, the factors that regulate the synthesis and secretion of extracellular enzymes and their distribution after they are externalized are important topics, not only for soil enzymologists, but also in the broader context of microbial ecology. In addition, there are many uncertainties about the ways in which microbes and their extracellular enzymes overcome the generally destructive, inhibitory and competitive properties of the soil matrix, and the various strategies they adopt for effective substrate detection and utilization. The complexity of extracellular enzyme activities in depolymerising macromolecular organics is exemplified by lignocellulose degradation and how the many enzymes involved respond to structural diversity and changing nutrient availabilities. The impacts of climate change on microbes and their extracellular enzymes, although of profound importance, are not well understood but we suggest how they may be predicted, assessed and managed. We describe recent advances that allow for the manipulation of extracellular enzyme activities to facilitate bioremediation, carbon sequestration and plant growth promotion. We also contribute to the ongoing debate as to how to assay enzyme activities in soil and what the measurements tell us, in the context of both traditional methods and the newer techniques that are being developed and adopted. Finally, we offer our collective vision of the future of extracellular enzyme research: one that will depend on imaginative thinking as well as technological advances, and be built upon synergies between diverse disciplines.
Keyword Soil extracellular enzymes
Climate change
Microbial ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 314 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 359 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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