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  Direct cell mass measurements expand the role of small microorganisms in nature.

Khachikyan, A., Milucka, J., Littmann, S., Ahmerkamp, S., Meador, T., Könneke, M., et al. (2019). Direct cell mass measurements expand the role of small microorganisms in nature. Methods, 85(4): e00493-19. doi:10.1128/AEM.00493-19.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CB07-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4BA9-A
Genre: Journal Article

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Khachikyan, A., Author
Milucka, J., Author
Littmann, S., Author
Ahmerkamp, S., Author
Meador, T., Author
Könneke, M., Author
Burg, T.1, Author              
Kuypers, M. M. M., Author
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1Research Group of Biological Micro- and Nanotechnology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_578602              

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 Abstract: Microbial biomass is a key parameter needed for the quantification of microbial turnover rates and their contribution to the biogeochemical element cycles. However, estimates of microbial biomass rely on empirically-derived mass-to-volume relationships and large discrepancies exist between the available empirical conversion factors. Here we report a significant non-linear relationship between carbon mass and cell volume (mcarbon = 197 × V0.46.; R2 = 0.95) based on direct cell mass, volume and elemental composition measurements of twelve prokaryotic species with average volumes between 0.011 – 0.705 μm3. The carbon mass density of our measured cells ranged from 250 to 1800 fg C μm-3 for the measured cell volumes. Compared to other currently used models, our relationship yielded up to 300 % higher carbon mass values. A compilation of our and previously published data showed that cells with larger volumes (> 0.5 μm3) display a constant (carbon) mass-to-volume ratio whereas cells with volumes below 0.5 μm3 exhibit a nonlinear increase in (carbon) mass density with decreasing volume. Small microorganisms dominate marine and freshwater bacterioplankton as well as soils and marine and terrestrial subsurface. The application of our experimentally-determined conversion factors will help to quantify the true contribution of these microorganisms to ecosystem functions and global microbial biomass.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 20192019-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00493-19
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Title: Methods
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: 12 Volume / Issue: 85 (4) Sequence Number: e00493-19 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -