Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.9 MB)

Title: Stable isotope fingerprinting: a novel method for identifying plant, fungal, or bacterial origins of amino acids

Author: Larsen, Thomas; Taylor, D. Lee; Leigh, Mary Beth; O'Brien, Diane M.;

Date: 2009

Source: Ecology. 90(12): 3526-3535

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Amino acids play an important role in ecology as essential nutrients for animals and as currencies in symbiotic associations. Here we present a new approach to tracing the origins of amino acids by identifying unique patterns of carbon isotope signatures generated by amino acid synthesis in plants, fungi, and bacteria ("13C fingerprints"). We measured amino acid ∂13C from 10 C3 plants, 13 fungi, and 10 bacteria collected and isolated from a boreal forest in interior Alaska, USA, using gas chromatography combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS). Microorganisms were cultured under amino-acid-free conditions and identified based on DNA sequences. Bacteria, fungi, and plants generated consistent, unique 13C fingerprints based on the more complex amino acids (five or more biosynthetic steps) that are classified as essential for animals. Linear discriminant analysis classified all samples correctly with >99% certainty and correctly classified nearly all insect samples from a previous study by diet. Our results suggest that 13C fingerprints of amino acids could provide a powerful in situ assay of the biosynthetic sources of amino acids and a potential new tool for understanding nutritional linkages in food webs.

Keywords: Alaska, compound-specific stable isotope analysis, essential amino acids, eukaryotes, gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS), prokaryotes

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Larsen, Thomas; Taylor, D. Lee; Leigh, Mary Beth; O'Brien, Diane M. 2009. Stable isotope fingerprinting: a novel method for identifying plant, fungal, or bacterial origins of amino acids. Ecology. 90(12): 3526-3535.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.