Microbial storage compounds: A neglected dimension of soil C cycling

Soil microorganisms are important players in terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycles. Many microorganisms produce intracellular storage compounds (PHB, trehalose, glycogen, triacylglycerides), but the implications of storage for microbial growth and C turnover are unknown. Our project investigates microbial storage compounds in soil to understand their occurrence, roles, and drivers in the context of a temperate pasture.

Laboratory incubation experiments and field sampling will be carried out with isotopic labelling and compound-specific chemical analyses to reveal microbial storage dynamics. Experimental results will be combined with stoichiometric modelling to integrate the findings into a broad understanding of soil carbon cycling.

This project is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grant number Ba 6982/1-1.

conceptual kyle