Research Topic

Extracellular enzymes in aquatic environments: exploring the link between genomic potential and biogeochemical consequences.

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Microbial extracellular enzymes are fundamental to the cycling of elements in aquatic systems. The regulation of these enzymatic reactions in oceans, lakes and streams is under complex multiple control by environmental factors and the metabolic capacities of different taxa and communities. While the ...

Microbial extracellular enzymes are fundamental to the cycling of elements in aquatic systems. The regulation of these enzymatic reactions in oceans, lakes and streams is under complex multiple control by environmental factors and the metabolic capacities of different taxa and communities. While the environmental control of enzyme-mediated processes has been investigated for over 100 years, in recent years tremendous progress in techniques to characterize the metabolic potential of microbial communities (“omics” techniques) has been made, such as high-throughput sequencing and new analytical algorithms. Environmental enzymology offers the chance to link “omic” disciplines with biogeochemical and ecological approaches, thereby elucidating mechanisms by which genes act on and are acted on by the chemical environment.
This Research Topic will explore the controls, activities, and biogeochemical consequences of enzymes in aquatic environments. It aims to bring together experimental studies and fieldwork conducted with natural microbial communities in marine and freshwater ecosystems as well as physiological, biochemical and molecular studies on microbial communities in these environments, or species isolated from them. We seek research on the biochemical nature of environmentally-relevant enzymes, the biological pathways controlling their synthesis and activities, and how those enzymes interact with the physical and chemical environment, including extreme environments, to influence concentrations and fluxes of elements. We would like to contribute to the ongoing debate on the impact of anthropogenic climate change and pollution on microbes, extracellular enzymes and substrate turnover. Studies about novel methodologies, models, or conceptual approaches to study enzymes in the environment will also be welcomed.


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