|Coordinatore||MAX PLANCK GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
address: Hofgartenstrasse 8
|Nazionalità Coordinatore||Germany [DE]|
|Totale costo||255˙453 €|
|EC contributo||255˙453 €|
Specific programme "People" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013)
|Anno di inizio||2012|
|Periodo (anno-mese-giorno)||2012-07-01 - 2015-06-30|
MAX PLANCK GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
address: Hofgartenstrasse 8
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'The project “Proteomic approaches to assess the oceanic Nitrogen biogeochemistry – ProteoN” has 3 major research objectives. In summary, these are the development of a novel, high-throughput proteomic approach by combining state-of-the-art mass spectrometric and molecular biological techniques. This unique approach links the metabolic activity of organisms to their identity by assessing the proteins in a given sample. The developed approach will be established using a characterized model system. The novel approach will then be applied to a contemporary research issue of international interest. Specifically, this objective will compare the nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry of two ocean basins and aims at evidence for or against the hypothesis (published in 2007 by peer scientists) that the Pacific is a site of high N2 fixation with higher rates than in the Atlantic Ocean. N2 fixation is the main source of fixed N in the open ocean and is a crucial player in primary production and hence the air-sea exchange of atmospheric CO2. The skills and knowledge acquired at a prestigious research institution in the U.S.A. will be transferred to an excellent research institution in the ERA (MPI Bremen) and implemented into a study on the short-term effect of dust deposition in the North Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric dust is the main source of iron to the open ocean, a limiting nutrient for N2 fixation. Dust deposition is subject to global change through increased desertification and changing land use and thus of international research interest. Through the combination of research in a third country with the transfer of skills and knowledge to the ERA, present-day, globally-relevant issues can be assessed at the international level in addition to strengthening the individual as well as the institutional network. The implementation of novel, state-of-the-art assessments of the environment will enhance the European research excellence and increase the competitiveness of European research.'
Assessing the movement of nutrients through ecosystems is complex. An ingenious method to assess isotopes in proteins is shedding light on ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles as well as dust deposition.
Nitrogen fixation is the main source of nitrogen in the open ocean and a crucial part of primary production at the base of the foodweb. This in turn is linked to the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the sea, where it is consumed during biomass production and emitted during respiration.
Iron can be a limiting nutrient for nitrogen fixation and/or primary production and is supplied to the open ocean mainly via dust deposition. A reflection of increased desertification and changing land use, global dust deposition is therefore of international interest.
With EU funding, the 'Proteomic approaches to assess the oceanic nitrogen biogeochemistry' (PROTEON) project is developing a unique high-throughput approach to link the metabolic activity of organisms to their identity in a given sample. The analysis is based on the proteins and the natural carbon and nitrogen isotopes present in a model system.
Two bacterial cultures and a sample from a meromictic lake (that has layers of water that do not intermix) are under scrutiny to develop the high-throughput approach. Project work to date has seen the collection of metagenomics data from Mahoney Lake in Canada. A resulting manuscript on the microbial community and the sulphur cycle has been published in Geobiology.
Researchers have successfully developed the method, protein stable isotope fingerprinting (P-SIF), for carbon isotopes. Nitrogen isotopes proved more problematic, but work is continuing to resolve the technical difficulties. Nevertheless, details of the work were published in the peer-reviewed journal Analytical Chemistry. Protein extraction from seawater is also on the agenda for further resolution, and the researchers will work on increasing the amount of protein for input into P-SIF.
The newly developed P-SIF promises to be a valuable tool in evaluation of the link between marine microorganisms and their role in the ecosystem. The novel method will allow the study of previously unknown microbes that may be crucial in the understanding of biogeochemical processes in the environment.
Translation of skills fostered and developed in PROTEON to the European Research Area (ERA) means that globally relevant issues such as land-use change can be assessed. The new methods of environment assessment could enhance European research excellence and increase the competitiveness of European research.