Paper published today in Soil Biology & Biochemistry describing a new way to estimate growth of soil microbes. We developed an analytical pipeline centred around D2O as a universal label coupled with LC-MS quantification of intact polar lipids.
- Quantification of 2H enrichment of a broad spectrum of lipids was possible in soils incubated with 50 atom% D2O for 27 h.
- There was ten-fold variation among individual lipids in rates of synthesis and turnover, which presumably reflects differences in growth rate and abundance of soil taxa.
- Turnover differed among classes from 1.2 to 1.5 years in phosphatidylcholine, 0.54–0.98 years in diacylglyceryl-N,N,N-trimethylhomoserine, and 0.42–0.72 years in phosphatidylethanolamine.