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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Environmental Geosciences (DEG)


Environmental Geosciences, V. 10, No. 3 (2003), P. 91-98.

Copyright copy2003. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Division of Environmental Geosciences. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1306/eg100303004

Glomalin, a newly discovered component of Previous HitsoilNext Hit organic matter: Part Imdash Environmental significance

M. J. Haddad,1 D. Sarkar2

1Department of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 6900 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, Texas
2Department of Earth and Environmental Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 6900 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, Texas; email: [email protected]


Melissa J. Haddad received her M.S. degree in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her thesis research focused on glomalin and its relationship with Previous HitsoilNext Hit properties. Prior to this, Haddad served in the U.S. Army as a Medical Service Corps officer, completing assignments in Germany, BosniandashHerzegovina, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She completed her undergraduate studies at Mercer University, where she received a B.S.E. degree in biomedical engineering with minors in environmental engineering and mathematics.

Dibyendu Sarkar is an assistant professor and director of the Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Sarkar received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and did his postdoctoral training at the University of Florida. His areas of expertise include Previous HitsoilNext Hit chemistry, environmental quality and remediation, and risk assessment. Sarkar is also an associate editor of Environmental Geosciences.


We would like to acknowledge the Center for Water Research (CWR) at the University of Texas at San Antonio for providing the senior author with a Graduate Research Assistantship. Administrative support of Hermina Simpson of CWR is also acknowledged.


Previous HitSoilNext Hit organic matter (SOM) is a key component of Previous HitsoilNext Hit that greatly influences its structure and productivity, as well as aggregate stability. High Previous HitsoilNext Hit aggregate stability translates to less Previous HitsoilNext Hit erosion and hence lessens the likelihood of non-point-source water pollution. Repeated evidences of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increasing Previous HitsoilNext Hit aggregate stability led to the rather accidental discovery of a Previous HitsoilNext Hit protein called glomalin produced in abundance by the hyphae of these fungi. In the course of time, glomalin detaches from the hyphae, moves into the Previous HitsoilNext Hit, and becomes a distinct component of the SOM. Although the structure of glomalin remains unknown to date, research has revealed that it may comprise as much as 2% of Previous HitsoilNext Hit by weight and 30% of Previous HitsoilNext Hit carbon. Compared to glomalin, the traditional components of SOM, humic and fulvic acids, typically average 0.1% by Previous HitsoilNext Hit weight and 5ndash10% of Previous HitsoilNext Hit carbon. Glomalin is uncommonly tough and acts as a glue to hold the Previous HitsoilNext Hit particles together. Studies on soils from differing locations and management practices have demonstrated the overall abundance and uncommonly high stability of glomalin, as well as an overwhelming positive correlation between glomalin content and Previous HitsoilNext Hit aggregation. Research has also identified the potential for glomalin in the role of carbon sequestration. Despite the significant amount of research that has been performed on glomalin in soils since its discovery in 1996, there is still a world of unknowns about this unique Previous HitsoilTop protein. Determining the structure of glomalin, as well as those environmental conditions that drive its presence in soils, will govern the future direction of glomalin research.

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