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Bacteriohopanepolyols in tropical soils and sediments from the Congo River catchment area

Lookup NU author(s): Charlotte Spencer-Jones, Professor Thomas Wagner, Paul Mann, Dr Rob Spencer



The Congo River basin drains the second largest area of tropical rainforest in the world, including a large proportion of pristine wetlands. We present the first investigation of the full bacteriohopanepolyol (BHP) inventory from a suite of tropical soils and, by comparison with other published data, propose some initial ideas on BHP distribution controls. Strong taxonomic controls on BHP production are evident in wetland sediments. 35-aminobacteriohopane-31,32,33,34-tetrol (aminotetrol) and 35-aminobacteriohopane-30,31,32,33,34-pentol (aminopentol) were dominant within the BHP suit, indicating aerobic methanotrophy. A small range and low mean relative abundance of 30-(5’-adenosyl)hopane (adenosylhopane) and related compounds collectively termed “soil marker” BHPs was observed in Congo soils (mean 17%, range 7.9-36% of total BHPs, n = 22) compared with literature data from temperate surface soils and Arctic surface soils (mean 36%, range 0-66% of total BHPs, n = 28) suggesting a greater rate of conversion of this BHP precursor to other structures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Spencer-Jones CL, Wagner T, Dinga BJ, Schefuss E, Mann PJ, Poulsen JR, Spencer RGM, Wabakanghanzi JN, Talbot HN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organic Geochemistry

Year: 2015

Volume: 89-90

Pages: 1-13

Print publication date: 01/12/2015

Online publication date: 21/09/2015

Acceptance date: 10/09/2015

Date deposited: 23/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0146-6380

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5290

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2015.09.003


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Funder referenceFunder name
258734European Research Council
NE/E017088/1UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
NSF 0851101US National Science Foundation