Editorial: microbial communities and metabolisms involved in the degradation of cellular and extracellular organic biopolymers
Ruff, S. Emil
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Keywordmacromolecule; necromass; heterotrophic microorganism; protein; polysaccharide; carbohydrate; nucleic acid; lipid
Most organic matter on Earth occurs in the form of macromolecules and complex biopolymers, which include the building blocks of every organism. Plant, animal, fungal, and microbial cells largely consist of macromolecules belonging to four compound classes: proteins, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and lipids (Figure 1). The percentage of these compounds per dry weight can vary greatly between lineages, but also between individuals of the same species or developmental stages of the same organism. Living and lysing cells release a substantial quantity and variety of macromolecules to the environment. These compounds often contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, in addition to carbon, and are thus ideal food sources for heterotrophic organisms. Although the degradation of biopolymers and macromolecules has received considerable attention, many knowledge gaps remain, particularly in very complex ecosystems such as soils and sediments.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Ruff, S. E. Editorial: microbial communities and metabolisms involved in the degradation of cellular and extracellular organic biopolymers. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12, (2022): 802619, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.802619.
Suggested CitationRuff, S. E. (2022). Editorial: microbial communities and metabolisms involved in the degradation of cellular and extracellular organic biopolymers. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12, 802619.
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