Relationship between molecular characteristics of soil humic fractions and glycolytic pathway and krebs cycle in maize seedlings
Nardi, S. | Muscolo, A. | Vaccaro, S. | Baiano, S. | Spaccini, R. | Piccolo, A.
A humic acid (HA) isolated from a volcanic soil was separated in three fractions of decreasing molecular size (I, II and III) by preparative high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC). The molecular content of the bulk soil HA and its size fractions was characterized by pyrolysis-GC-MS (thermochemolysis with tetramethylammonium hydroxide) and NMR spectroscopy. All soil humic materials were used to evaluate their effects on the enzymatic activities involved in glycolytic and respiratory processes of Zea mays (L.) seedlings. The elementary analyses and NMR spectra of the humic fractions indicated that the content of polar carbons (mainly carbohydrates) increased with decreasing molecular size of separated fractions. The products evolved by on-line thermochemolysis showed that the smallest size fraction (Fraction III) with the least rigid molecular conformation among the humic samples had the lowest content of lignin moieties and the largest amount of other non-lignin aromatic compounds. The bulk HA and the three humic fractions affected the enzyme activities related to glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) in different ways depending on molecular size, molecular characteristics and concentrations. The overall effectiveness of the four fractions in promoting the metabolic pathways was in the order: III>HA>II>I. The largest effect of Fraction III, either alone or incorporated into the bulk HA, was attributed to a flexible conformational structure that promoted a more efficient diffusion of bioactive humic components to maize cells. A better knowledge of the relationship between molecular structure of soil humic matter and plant activity may be of practical interest in increasing carbon fixation in plants and redirect atmospheric CO2 into bio-fuel resources.Show more [+] Less [-]