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Water 2019, 11(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010010

Microbial Processing and Production of Aquatic Fluorescent Organic Matter in a Model Freshwater System

1
Centre for Research in Biosciences, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
2
Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
3
Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd., Surrey KT8 2QZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Aquatic Organic Matter Fluorescence)
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Abstract

Organic matter (OM) has an essential biogeochemical influence along the hydrological continuum and within aquatic ecosystems. Organic matter derived via microbial processes was investigated within a range of model freshwater samples over a 10-day period. For this, excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy in combination with parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis was employed. This research shows the origin and processing of both protein-like and humic-like fluorescence within environmental and synthetic samples over the sampling period. The microbial origin of Peak T fluorescence is demonstrated within both synthetic samples and in environmental samples. Using a range of incubation temperatures provides evidence for the microbial metabolic origin of Peak T fluorescence. From temporally resolved experiments, evidence is provided that Peak T fluorescence is an indication of metabolic activity at the microbial community level and not a proxy for bacterial enumeration. This data also reveals that humic-like fluorescence can be microbially derived in situ and is not solely of terrestrial origin, likely to result from the upregulation of cellular processes prior to cell multiplication. This work provides evidence that freshwater microbes can engineer fluorescent OM, demonstrating that microbial communities not only process, but also transform, fluorescent organic matter. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic fluorescent organic matter; organic matter; fluorescence spectroscopy; microbial processing; freshwater; BOD aquatic fluorescent organic matter; organic matter; fluorescence spectroscopy; microbial processing; freshwater; BOD
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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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Fox, B.G.; Thorn, R.M.; Anesio, A.M.; Cox, T.; Attridge, J.W.; Reynolds, D.M. Microbial Processing and Production of Aquatic Fluorescent Organic Matter in a Model Freshwater System. Water 2019, 11, 10.

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