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Tannin degradation in aquatic systems

Discussion in 'Aquatic Microbiology' started by Tom Barr, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Mahadevan, A. and Muthukumar, G. 1980. Aquatic Microbiology with Reference to Tannin Degradation. Hydrobiologia, Volume 72, Numbers 1-2 / July.

    "Tannins in aquatic environment cause harmful effects to aquatic life. They are inhibitory to microbial growth, respiration and metabolism. A few microorganisms degrade tannins and the factors influencing degradation are discussed."


    RICHARD J. DUDLEY, PERRY F. CHURCHILL 1995. Effect and potential ecological significance of the interaction of humic acids with two aquatic extracellular proteases. Freshwater Biology 1995 34:3 485

    Tej K. Bhat, Bhupinder Singh and Om P. Sharma 1998
    Microbial degradation of tannins – A current perspective
    Biodegradation, Issue Volume 9, Number 5 / September, 1998

    "Tannins are water-soluble polyphenolic compounds having wide prevalence in plants. Hydrolysable and condensed tannins are the two major classes of tannins. These compounds have a range of effects on various organisms – from toxic effects on animals to growth inhibition of microorganisms. Some microbes are, however, resistant to tannins, and have developed various mechanisms and pathways for tannin degradation in their natural milieu. The microbial degradation of condensed tannins is, however, less than hydrolysable tannins in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. A number of microbes have also been isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of animals, which have the ability to break tannin-protein complexes and degrade tannins, especially hydrolysable tannins. Tannase, a key enzyme in the degradation of hydrolysable tannins, is present in a diverse group of microorganisms, including rumen bacteria. This enzyme is being increasingly used in a number of processes. Presently, there is a need for increased understanding of the biodegradation of condensed tannins, particularly in ruminants."

    Regulation of Nitrification in Aquatic Sediments by Organic Carbon
    Eric A. Strauss, Gary A. Lamberti
    Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 45, No. 8 (Dec., 2000), pp. 1854-1859
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  3. Rhizomorph

    Rhizomorph Junior Poster

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    It's also worth noting that tannins are going to be degraded by both aerobes and anaerobes - and the pathways (and rates) of decomposition by these groups of microbes are going to differ. The literature has quite a lot of nice papers on the microbiome of higher termites which is well worth reading. Sure, it's lignocellulose they are degrading -- but there's some similarities between lignin degradation and the degradation of tannins. Interesting stuff though!! -- Rhizomorph.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    One thing that is notable in real systems with high tannins(Florida rivers/lakes/swamps/marshes etc: the levels do not just keep building up.So something is degrading them at a relatively stable rate. Light has been suggested but that alone does not account for the losses.
     
  5. Rhizomorph

    Rhizomorph Junior Poster

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    I've not done much work on prokaryotic degradation of tannins -- but I have done work on fungi that degrade this compound. In the lab at least they grow on it as sole source of carbon without too much trouble. In aquatic systems though, it's probably primarily degraded by bacteria. Not sure which types though.
     
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