Research Highlights: Warmer temperature increases metabolic processes and cell division but lowers protein synthesis in soil microbes


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Warmer temperature increases metabolic processes and cell division but lowers protein synthesis in soil microbes

  • Responses of soil microbes to global warming are important to conclude future soil-climate feedback; however, it is not well understood.
  • Researchers investigated microbial physiological responses to medium-term and long-term subarctic grassland soil warming of +6°C.
  • Medium-term is 8 years and long-term is more than 50 years.
  • Researchers observed indications for a community-wide increase in central metabolic pathways and cellular replication.
  • Additionally, researchers observed a reduction of bacterial protein biosynthesis machinery in the elevated temperature soils which occur at the same time with lower microbial biomass, RNA, and substrate content.
  • Researchers concluded that the increased reaction rates at higher temperatures and the reduction of substrates triggered ribosome reduction.
  • The ribosome is a macromolecular complex that carries protein synthesis.
  • Another study involving short-term warming experiment of +6°C at 6 weeks further supported the conclusion.
  • The reduction of protein biosynthesis machinery frees up energy and matter which allows soil microbes to continue a high metabolic process and cellular division even after years of increasing temperature.

Source:

Söllinger, A., et al. (2022). Down-regulation of the bacterial protein biosynthesis machinery in response to weeks, years, and decades of soil warming. Science Advances. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm3230

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