An assessment of the microbial contribution to aquatic dissolved organic nitrogen using amino acid enantiomeric ratios
There is increasing evidence that certain microbially-derived compounds may account for part of the aquatic dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) pool. Enantiomeric ratios of amino acids were used to assess the microbial input to the DON pool in the Florida Everglades, USA. Elevated levels of d-alanine, d-aspartic acid, d-glutamic acid and d-serine indicated the presence of peptidoglycan in the samples. The estimated peptidoglycan contribution to amino acid nitrogen ranged from 2.8 ± 0.1% to 6.4 ± 0.9%, increasing with salinity from freshwater to coastal waters. The distribution of individual d-amino acids in the samples suggests additional inputs to DON, possibly from archaea or from abiotic racemization of l-amino acids.
Jones, V., M.J. Collins, K.E.H. Penkman, R. Jaffe, G.A. Wolff. 2005. An assessment of the microbial contribution to aquatic dissolved organic nitrogen using amino acid enantiomeric ratios. Organic Geochemistry 36(7): 1099-1107.