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Title: Use of sonication for measuring acid phosphatase activity in soil
Authors: De Cesare, Fabrizio 
Garzillo, Anna Maria V.
Buonocore, Vincenzo
Badalucco, Luigi
Keywords: Soil;Acid phosphatase;Enzyme assay;Sonication
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: De Cesare, F. et al. 2000. Use of sonication for measuring acid phosphatase activity in soil. "Soil Biology and Biochemistry" 32 (6): 825–832
Extracellular enzymes in soil often occur in immobilised forms, a state that may alter their interactions with substrates in comparison with enzymes in the solution phase. Sonication was evaluated for its usefulness in studying immobilised acid phosphatase by dispersing soil aggregates. Factors affecting soil dispersion during ultrasound application were soil extraction ratio, total applied energy and power output ml−1 of sonicated soil slurry. For the clay loam soil used, optimal values for these variables were, respectively, 1:6 (w/v) and, at least, 1800 J ml−1 and 15 W ml−1. At the optimal sonication conditions for soil dispersion a substantial increase in phosphatase activity (up to 156% greater than the non-sonicated control) was induced by sonication. This increase in activity with sonication, which coincided with a release of soil chromophores, might be related to the exposure or release from aggregates of the extracellular enzyme fraction immobilised on humic colloids. Analysis of multiple regression between the phosphatase activity (dependent variable) and chromophore solubilisation and ATP release (independent variables) suggested the increased activity was from complexed enzymes that were released and not due to cell lysis. Soil treatment with sonication appeared to have liberated a large dormant portion of acid phosphatase activity. Coefficients of variation of the activity decreased greatly (from 20% in control soil to 4% as an average after sonication).
ISSN: 0038-0717
DOI: 10.1016/S0038-0717(99)00212-6
Appears in Collections:DABAC - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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