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Preparation of specifically labeled carbon 14 labeled lignin and carbon 14 labeled cellulose ligno celluloses and their decomposition by the micro flora of soil


, : Preparation of specifically labeled carbon 14 labeled lignin and carbon 14 labeled cellulose ligno celluloses and their decomposition by the micro flora of soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 33(6): 1247-1251

Microbial decomposition of lignocellulose in soil was studied using radioisotope techniques. Natural lignocelluloses containing 14C in either their lignin or cellulose (glucan) components were prepared by feeding plants L-[U-14C]phenylalanine or D-[U-14C]glucose, respectively, through their cut stems. Detailed chemical and chromatographic characterization of labeled lignocelluloses from 3 hardwood and 3 softwood species showed that those labeled by the [14C]glucose incorporation method contained specifically labeled cellulosic components, whereas those labeled by the [14C]phenylalanine incorporation method contained specifically labeled lignin components. Microbial degradation of these differentially labeled lignocelluloses was followed by monitoring 14CO2 evolution from selected soil samples incubated with known amounts of radiolabeled lignocelluloses. The lignin components of the 6 woods were shown to be decomposed in soil 4 to 10 times more slowly than their cellulosic components. These rates of mineralization were comparable to the generalized patterns previously reported in the literature. The present technique, however, was thought to be simpler, more sensitive, and less prone to interference than methods previously available.

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