Bioavailability of hexadecane during the degradation of litter from C3 and C4 plants in different soil compartments and its influence on the induction of alkane degrading genes from prokaryotes

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. M. Schloter, Prof. Dr. J.C. Munch, Prof. Dr. H. Harms

Co-workers: Dr. A. Chatzinotas, J. Giebler, S. Schulz, Dr. L.Y. Wick

Understanding gene expression and stability of enzymes in soil microhabitats

H1: During degradation of maize and rapeseed litter, hexadecane is released into the surrounding soil.
H2: A gradient of hexadecane will arise as a function of the distance to the litter surface, with the highest concentrations close to the emitter.
H3: Microbial communities will express genes involved in hexadecane degradation depending on the bioavailability.
H4: Microbial communities are able to mobilize hexadecane bound to soil particles.
H5: Microbial mobilization of hexadecane is more important for hexadecane bioavailability than the soil type.

Scientific approach:
The induction of gene expression of alkB as well as the stability of the corresponding enzyme will be investigated in the interface of litter and soil using biosensors as well as immunological tools.

Cooperation within the priority programme:
Prof. Dr. E. Kandeler, Prof. Dr. K. Smalla, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. M. Spiteller, Prof. Dr. R. Nie├čner

Poster Schloter  method schloter



Schulz, S., Perez-de-Mora, A., Engel, M., Munch, J.C., Schloter, M. 2010. A comparative study of most probable number (MPN)-PCR vs. real-time-PCR for the measurement of abundance and assessment of diversity of alkB homologous genes in soil. J. Microbiol. Methods 80, 295-298.


Perez-de-Mora, A., Schulz, S., Schloter, M. 2009. MPN- and real time-based PCR methods for the quantification of alkane-monooxygenase homologous genes (alkB) in environmental samples. In: S. Cunningham (ed.) Methods in Molecular Biology. Human Press, New York, 59-68.