IMG_1107After 3.5 years within the EcoFun team, Joana has finally completed her PhD and will be pleased to defend her work with an oral presentation on the 6th of April, 2017 at 9am at the Inra campus amphitheater of “La Grande Ferrade” in Villenave d’Ornon. We wish her all the best for this final stage.

Carbonic anhydrases (CA) are a group of enzymes that catalyse CO2 hydration and OCS hydrolysis. The presence of CA in plants and soil microorganisms is responsible for the largest atmosphere-biosphere exchange of OCS but also CO18O, because oxygen isotopes are exchanged with soil and plant water pools during CO2 hydration. Consequently, CO18O and OCS atmospheric mixing ratios have been proposed as complementary tracers of the global C cycle that could open avenues to estimate the contribution of photosynthesis and respiration at global scales. However, a mechanistic understanding of the drivers of CA activity is required. We investigated the role of soil pH and microbial community on soil CA activity. We hypothesised that CA activity should be (H1) inhibited in acidic soils but that (H2) the associated CO2-H2O exchange would also be reduced in alkaline soils. We further assumed that (H3) soil CA activity would be enhanced by an increase in soil phototrophs abundance, but that (H4) soil community structure would affect differently CO18O and OCS fluxes. Our results confirmed H1 and H2. We also confirmed that soil CO2 fluxes and the associated CA activity were positively correlated with phototrophic communities abundance (H3), while soil OCS uptake and the associated CA activity seemed driven by fungal abundance (H4). These findings are now being incorporated into a model of soil CA activity worldwide that will allow robust estimates of photosynthesis and respiration at large scales from the atmospheric budgets of OCS and CO18O. 
Keywords : carbonic anhydrase, CO18O, OCS, soil microorganisms, pH


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