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Re: Glomalin, the Unsung Hero of Carbon Storage

Also see:

"Glomalin?Soil's Superglue"
Agricultural Research magazine | October 1997

And especially, the ARS web page on Glomalin and
Sara Wright's work at:

Glomalin - an Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Glycoprotein

Of special interest is the USDA brochure, a 5-page PDF:

Glomalin, A Manageable Soil Glue

Steve Diver

"Lawrence F. London, Jr." wrote:

> ----------
> From: ARS News Service <NewsService@ars.usda.gov>
> Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService@ars.usda.gov>
> Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:15:03 -0400
> To: ARS News subscriber <lonrom@hevanet.com>
> Subject: Glomalin, the Unsung Hero of Carbon Storage
> Glomalin, the Unsung Hero of Carbon Storage
> ___________________________________________
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Don Comis, (301) 504-1625, comis@ars.usda.gov
> September 6, 2002
> ___________________________________________
> Glomalin, a recently discovered major component of soil organic matter,
> stores about a third of the world's soil carbon, offsetting industrial
> pollution. This is according to a recent collaborative study by scientists
> with the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Maryland
> (U-MD) at College Park. The study was partially funded by the U.S.
> Department of Energy.
> The study was done by Kristine A. Nichols, a U-MD soil science Ph.D.
> candidate and technician at ARS' Sustainable Agricultural Systems
> Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., along with colleagues Sara F. Wright and E.
> Kudjo Dzantor. Wright, an ARS soil scientist, discovered glomalin in 1996,
> and Dzantor is a U-MD soil scientist.
> Glomalin is a sticky protein produced by root-dwelling fungi and sloughed
> into soil as roots grow. By gluing soil particles and organic matter
> together, it stabilizes soil and keeps carbon from escaping into the
> atmosphere. In an earlier study, Wright found that glomalin serves as a
> corrective to global warming because it increases with carbon dioxide
> levels.
> Nichols and colleagues detected large amounts of glomalin in soils from
> four states, showing it to be a major part of organic matter. The glomalin
> weighed 2 to 24 times as much as humic acid, which was previously thought
> to store the most carbon. But Nichols found that humic acid only stored 8
> percent of total soil carbon compared to glomalin's 27 percent.
> Wright has found glomalin in soils from around the world, ranging in
> weight from less than 1 milligram per gram (mg/g) of sample to more than
> 100 mg/g. She found the highest levels in Hawaiian and Japanese soils,
> indicating that some soils might be able to store large amounts of carbon
> in glomalin with a turnover rate of 7 to 42 years. She is on a team
> investigating underground carbon storage in tropical forests, thought to
> be major carbon reservoirs.
> For more on glomalin, see the September 2002 issue of Agricultural
> Research magazine, online at:
> http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep02/soil0902.htm
> ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research
> agency.
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