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In situ hydrogen and nitrous oxide as indicators of concomitant fermentation and denitrification in the alimentary canal of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris

Title data

Wüst, Pia K. ; Horn, Marcus A. ; Drake, Harold L.:
In situ hydrogen and nitrous oxide as indicators of concomitant fermentation and denitrification in the alimentary canal of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris.
In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Vol. 75 (2009) Issue 7 . - pp. 1852-1859.
ISSN 1098-5336
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02745-08

Abstract in another language

The earthworm gut is a unique microzone in aerated soils that has been proposed to selectively stimulate ingested soil microorganisms by its in situ conditions, which include anoxia, high water contents, a near-neutral pH, and high concentrations of organic compounds. The central objective of this study was to resolve potential links between in situ conditions and anaerobic microbial activities during gut passage of Lumbricus terrestris. Both H2 and N2O were emitted by living earthworms, and in situ microsensor analyses revealed both H2 and N2O in the O2-free gut center. The highest H2 concentrations occurred in foregut and midgut regions, whereas the highest N2O concentrations occurred in crop/gizzard and hindgut regions. Thus, H2-producing fermentations were more localized in foregut and midgut, whereas denitrification was more localized in crop/gizzard and hindgut. Moisture content, total carbon, and total nitrogen were highest in the foregut and decreased from anterior to posterior of the gut. Nitrite, ammonium, and iron(II) were highest in the crop/gizzard and decreased from anterior to posterior of the alimentary canal. Concentrations of soluble organic compounds were indicative of distinct fermentation processes along the alimentary canal, with maximal concentrations of organic acids (e.g., acetate and butyrate) occurring in the midgut. These findings suggest that earthworms (a) contribute to terrestrial cycling of carbon and nitrogen via anaerobic microbial activities in the alimentary canal and (b) constitute a mobile source of reductant (i.e., emitted H2) for microbiota in aerated soils.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER67252
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Ecological Microbiology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 05:53
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2015 05:53
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/17376