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Open AccessArticle

Amino Acid: Its Dual Role as Nutrient and Scavenger of Free Radicals in Soil

Department of Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University, Brno 61300, Czech Republic
School of Environment & Natural Resources, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Department of Agri-food Production and Environmental Sciences, University of Florence, Firenze 50121, Italy
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Silviculture, Protection and Utilization, Guangdong Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
College of Professional Studies Northeastern, University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Department of Agronomy, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Tripura Centre, Lembucherra, Tripura 799210, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1402;
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
PDF [1379 KB, uploaded 10 August 2017]


Ascorbic acid is a bacteriostatic agent; one of the many ways by which ascorbic acid hampers bacterial growth is by the production of hydrogen peroxide, which further converts into hydroxyl free radicals. Certain amino acids can counteract the inhibitory effect of hydroxyl free radicals by checking their oxidizing effect. Though ascorbic acid is bacteriostatic in nature, it facilitates prokaryotic respiration by decarboxylation. This study was carried out to understand how microbes from different horizons of the forest soil respond to the addition of a bacteriostatic agent (ascorbic acid) and growth promoting agent (amino acids), with respect to the soil respiration. We observed that the addition of either ascorbic acid or a combination of it with amino acid consistently results in increased soil respiration, and this increase is different for different soil types depending on soil composition and origin. Furthermore, we also found that beta alanine-induced maximum respiration in basic soils and L-glutamic in acidic soils. This study is significant because it can be used to explain how a strong reducing sugar, i.e., ascorbic acid, affects the soil respiration mediated via soil microbes. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first report that demonstrates the effect of bacteriostatic and the growth promoting agent together on microbe-mediated soil respiration. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriostatic; ascorbic acid; free radical; decarboxylation; bete alanine; microbe bacteriostatic; ascorbic acid; free radical; decarboxylation; bete alanine; microbe

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Datta, R.; Baraniya, D.; Wang, Y.-F.; Kelkar, A.; Meena, R.S.; Yadav, G.S.; Teresa Ceccherini, M.; Formanek, P. Amino Acid: Its Dual Role as Nutrient and Scavenger of Free Radicals in Soil. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1402.

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