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Register Number: ER65545
Title: Rigid Nanostructured Organic Polymer Monolith for In Situ Collection and Analysis of Plant Metabolites from Soil Matrices
Principal Investigator: Tharayil, Nishanth
Institution: CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
Institution Address: Clemson, SC 29634-5702
Awarded Amount to Date and B&R Code :
FY 2013$127 kKP170201
DOE Program Manager: Daniel Stover
BER Division: Climate and Environmental Sciences
Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
Abstract Submit Date: 01/28/2014
Project Term: 09/01/2013 - 08/31/2015
Abstract: Release of photosynthates from plant roots and decomposing litter forms a major conduit through which atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches belowground ecosystems. These metabolites mobilizes the unavailable nutrients in soil matrices and thus assist in resource foraging in plants; also they from the major source of energy for soil fauna that facilitates the formation and stabilization of carbon in soil, thus regulating the soil carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite the profound implication of these metabolites in the organismal- and ecosystem-level interactions, the complexities of soil matrices hinder the current efforts to delineate the specific chemical composition of these plant inputs. Such information is vital as the biological functions of these plant inputs and the interactions they facilitate are strictly governed by their composition and molecular identity. To transcend this problem, the project aims to develop new polymeric probes that will be highly effective in the in-situ capture of plant metabolites from soil matrices. The polymeric matrix of the probes will be optimized using various monomer combinations that would confer optimal balance between high porosity, high sorption capacity and the versatility of functional group attachments, while maintaining rigidity and reusability of the probes. The probes will be tested in both managed and non-managed ecosystems for the efficient capture of plant metabolites, which then will be characterized using advanced analytical techniques. The proposed probes will be instrumental in gaining a better understanding of the chemical environment in soils to which the roots are exposed to, and would help scientist to measure the real-time fluxes of plant exudates in different ecosystems, which in turn will enable an accurate classification of the labile pools of carbon in biogeochemical models.