DMSP Cycling in Terrestrial Plant Environments

Williams, Adam Thomas (2022) DMSP Cycling in Terrestrial Plant Environments. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) is an abundant marine organosulphur compound produced by many marine microbes that acts also as a precursor to dimethyl sulfide (DMS). This project began when the longstanding belief that the majority of DMS synthesis occurs as a result of DMSP degradation via a cleavage pathway commonly utilised by marine bacterial and algal species, was challenged thanks to the identification of new terrestrial plant DMSP synthesis enzymes. Knowing that DMSP production was in fact widespread in plants and their soil environments, it was decided that this project would endeavour to clarify our understanding of DMSP cycling and challenge the dogma that it is a primarily marine process by characterising the microbial species existing in close proximity to DMSP-synthesising plants and potentially identifying DMSP-catabolism.

The aim of this project is to identify microbial DMSP degraders in terrestrial environments, specifically focusing on maize and rye plants as plants that produce low levels of DMSP, and Spanish Cane plants, that produce significantly higher levels of DMSP. This thesis details a year-long period of work, that showed 181 DMSP-degrading bacteria and 4 fungal strains to be present in environments such as the phyllosphere and rhizosphere environments of maize, rye and Spanish Cane plants, all of which produce significant (albeit varied) levels of DMSP. A variety of these strains were shown to either possess known ddd genes or belong to genera where ddd genes have been identified. This revelation provides strong evidence that terrestrial DMSP cycling is more significant than previously believed, highlighting a need for further investigation into the organisms within these environments that facilitate said cycling.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2023 10:58
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2023 10:58

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