Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2019) 33: 133-148.

Microbiology and Ecology of Methylated Amine Metabolism in Marine Ecosystems

Michaela A. Mausz and Yin Chen

Methylated amines (MAs) are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems, found from surface seawaters to sediment pore waters. These volatile ammonium analogs play important roles in biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen in the marine water column. They also contribute to the release of climate-active gases, being precursors of the potent greenhouse gas methane through methanogenesis in coastal sediments. Very recently, it also became acknowledged that MAs are important precursors for new particle growth, hence forming cloud-condensation nuclei in the marine atmosphere. Microbial metabolism of MAs has been demonstrated in the marine ecosystems for both Archaea and Bacteria. In this chapter, we summarize the latest developments in analytical methods for quantifying MA concentrations in marine surface water and sediments. We discuss the metabolic pathways leading to the formation and degradation of MAs by marine microbes and the novel biochemistry and structural biology of the enzymes for MA transformation. Lastly, we highlight the need for future research toward a better understanding of the microbiology and ecology of oceanic MA cycles.

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