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Sequential photochemical and microbial degradation of organic molecules bound to humic Acid



Sequential photochemical and microbial degradation of organic molecules bound to humic Acid



Applied and Environmental Microbiology 55(11): 2843-2849



We studied the effects of photochemical processes on the mineralization by soil microorganisms of [2-14C]glycine bound to soil humic acid. Microbial mineralization of these complexes in the dark increased inversely with the molecular weight of the complex molecules. Sunlight irradiation of glycine-humic acid complexes resulted in loss of absorbance in the UV range and an increase in the amount of 14C-labeled low-molecular-weight photoproducts and the rate and extent of mineralization. More than half of the radioactivity in the low-molecular-weight photoproducts appears to be associated with carboxylic acids. Microbial mineralization of the organic carbon increased with solar flux and was proportional to the loss of A330. Mineralization was proportional to the percentage of the original complex that was converted to low-molecular-weight photoproducts. Only light at wavelengths below 380 nm had an effect on the molecular weight distribution of the products formed from the glycine-humic acid complexes and on the subsequent microbial mineralization. Our results indicate that photochemical processes generate low-molecular-weight, readily biodegradable molecules from high-molecular-weight complexes of glycine with humic acid.

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Accession: 002219168

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PMID: 16348046



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