The 4th International Conference, Enzymes in the Environment was held July 17 to 21 and again followed the highly successful series on ecological enzymology that were held in Granada, Spain, in 1999, Prague, The Czech Republic in 2003, and Viterbo, Italy in 2007. Dr. Jürgen Marxsen did an outstanding job on the organizational and local arrangements for the current conference in Bad Nauheim.Furthermore, we are grateful for the support of his university, the Justus Liebig University of Giessen.
There were 162 participants from 34 countries who were microbiologists and biochemists studying terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These scientists represented a diverse set of disciplines who normally do not interact, but have a common interests on the microbial ecology of extracellular enzymes.
This conference had a major shift towards use of proteomic and nucleic acid approaches for studying ecological enzymology.This complemented the rich history of enzymology based on activity assays. A major contribution was focused on gene expression of extracellular enzymes to link specific enzyme activities with microbial functional groups or species.In particular, recent developments were presented on the role of signaling molecules and use of proteomics and ribosomal and messenger RNA to provide insights into the mechanistic ecology of extracellular enzymes in relation to functions of microorganisms.
The conference had a range of topics that reflected recent advances for aquatic and terrestrial microbiology. A major emphasis of the conference was on methodology which included use of microplate methods and molecular approaches for studying extracellular enzymes. There were a number of interesting papers on natural attenuation to remediate contaminated soil and water that utilized extracellular enzymes. Papers were presented on extreme environments and stress induced by anthropogenic activities due to disturbance, pollution or global climate change.The results indicate the unique adaptation in enzyme expression that microbial communities perform in order to maintain community functions in altered ecosystems.
The conference reflected the continuing interest to use enzymology as a basis for many practical applications.This included biosensors, manipulation of organisms to express extracellular enzymes for plant disease suppression, and bioremediation of polluted soils.
The Organizing Committee presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to individuals who have made a significant contribution to ecological enzymology. The Terrestrial Enzymology Award was given to Dr. Tom Speir for his internationally recognized research on the ecology of soil enzymes and use of microbial properties as ecosensors and measures of soil quality.The Aquatic Enzymology Award was given to Professor Ryszard Chróst in recognition of his highly acclaimed career in limnic microbiology and role of extracellular enzymes in nutrient cycling of aquatic systems.Professors Hoppe and Burns gave inaugural lectures, respectively, on the status and future directions of ecological enzymology.
The conference organizers wish to thank the sponsors shown below for the financial support of the conference.In particular, we thank the substantial financial support of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies and the US National Science Foundation.I want to extend a special thanks to Dr. Jürgen Marxsenand his students and staff for the hard work and hospitality in hosting the conference.
Richard P. Dick, Executive Director
Ohio State University, USA
Program Abstracts, Presentations, and Posters can be viewed at:
8:30Microbial Enzymes in Aquatic Environments – Past, Present and Future
Uwe Munster, University of Helsinki, Finland
9:00Extracellular Enzymatic Activity in The Dark Ocean: New Insights and Enigmas
Gerhard J. Herndl, University of Vienna, Austria
9:30Autecological Insight to Phytoplankton Extracellular Phosphatases – Bulk to Cell-Specific Activity
Jaroslav Vrba, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic
9:50Enzymes in Marine Invertebrates and their Habitats
Reinhard Saborowski , Alfred Wegener Inst. Polar and Marine Res. Germany
10:10General Discussion: Symposium VI
Symposium VII: Bioremediation – Nucleic Acids and Enzyme Expression
Chair Maria Rao, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
11:00Genes, Enzymes, and Environment: What Do We Need to Know to Predict Bioremediation Activity in Soil?
Mary Stromberger, Colorado State University, USA
11:30Chitosan: An Attractive Candidate for the Production of Laccase-Based Biocatalysts
Hubert Cabana, University of Sherbrooke, Canada
11:50Evolving Phytochelatin-Based Metal Tolerance in Plants
Joseph M. Jez, Washington University, USA
12:10Enhanced Enzymatic Activities in Seawater from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Kai Ziervogel, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, USA
12:30White Rot Fungal Enzyme Production to Bioremediate Oil-Contaminated Soil
Natalia Pozdnyakova, Inst. Bioch & Microorg, Academy of Sciences, Russia
Symposium VIII: Enzyme Activities as Ecosensors
Chair: María M. Martínez Centro Avanzado de Gestión, Innovación, Chile
16:00Enzyme Activities as Sensitive Indicators of Changes in Soil Metabolic Functioning in
Alternative Management for Continuous Cotton
Verónica Acosta-Martinez, Cropping Systems Research Lab, USDA-ARS, USA
16:30Microbial Adaption in Zinc-Contaminated Soils as Assessed by Nitrate Reductase,
β-Galactosidase and Potential Nitrification Activities
Edoardo Puglisi, Istituto di Microbiologia-CRB, Italy
16:50Activity of Exoenzymes in Treated Wastewater Irrigated Soils
Elizabeth Jüschke, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
17:10Enzymes as Bioindicators of Soil Quality
Rosalia Scelza, Università di Napoli, Federico II, Italy
17:30Linking Microbial Community Composition and Activity to Soil Organic Matter Dynamics with Subtropical Forest Recovery
A. Payton Smith, University ofWisconsin-Madison, USA
Day 5, Thursday, July 21
9:00Symposium IX: Review of Posters
Richard Burns, University of Queensland, Australia
10:00Symposium X: Closing Keynote Lecture
Microbial Extracellular Enzymes as Selective Catalysts in the Marine Carbon Cycle
Carol Arnosti, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
14:00Post Conference Tour: Interdisciplinary Research Center for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ) at the University of Giessen
Pr. Richard Burns, University of Queensland, Australia Pr. Jose M. Barea, Es. Exp. del Zaidin, CSIC, Spain Pr. Ryszard J. Chrost, Warsaw University, Poland Pr. Shiping Deng, Oklahoma State University Pr. Richard P. Dick, Ohio State University, USA Pr. Stefano Grego, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy Pr. Ji-Dong Gu, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Pr. Hans-Georg Hoppe, Inst. for Marine Sci., Kiel, Germany Pr. Ellen Kandeler, Hohenheim University, Germany Dr. Juergen Marxsen, Justus Liebig Univ. Giessen, Germany Dr. Annelise Kjøller, Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark Pr. Paolo Nannipieri, Univ. degli Studi di Firenze, Italy Dr. Tom Speir, Inst. Environ. Sci. & Res., Ltd, New Zealand Dr. Jaroslav Vrba, Hydrobiological Institute, Czech Republic
Sponsors and Endorsements
Justus Liebig University
The Ohio State University
Federation of European Microbiological Societies
National Science Foundation
International Scociety of Limology
International Soil Science Society
Soil Science Society of America
Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry
InterResearch Center, Oldendorf, Germany
Executive Conference Director: Program Information: Pr. Richard P. Dick School of Environ. & Natural Resources Ohio State University, 210 Kottman Columbus, OH 43210 USA Tel: +1-614-247-7605 Fax: +1-614-292-7432 E-mail: Richard.Dick@snr.osu.edu
Organizational Director: Pr. Juergen Marxsen Aquatic Microbial Ecology Department of Animal Ecology Justus Liebig University Giessen D-35392 Giessen, Germany Email: Juergen.Marxsen@bio.uni-giessen.de Tel +49-641-99-35750 Fax +49-641-99-35709
Conference Registration & Management: Ms. Joan Sandeno Crop and Soil Science Oregon State University Ag/Life Sciences Building 3055 Corvallis, OR 97331 Email: email@example.com Tel +1 541-737--9576 Fax + 541-737-5725