Agnihotri, R., Sharma, M.P., Prakash, A., Ramesh, A., Bhattacharjya, S., Patra. A.K., Manna, M.C., Kurganova, I., Kuzyakov, Y.
Science of the Total Environment (2022)
Glycoproteins, e.g., glomalin related soil proteins (GRSP), are sticky organic substances produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). This review summarizes the information on i) the biochemical nature, physical state and origin of GRSP, ii) GRSP decomposition and residence time in soil, iii) GRSP functions, in particular the physical, chemical, and biochemical roles for soil aggregation and carbon (C) sequestration, and finally iv) how land use and agricultural management affect GRSP production and subsequently, organic C sequestration. GRSP augment soil quality by increasing water holding capacity, nutrient storage and availability, microbial and enzymatic activities, and microbial production of extracellular polysaccharides.
After release into the soil, GRSP become prone to microbial decomposition due to stabilization with organic matter and sesquioxides, and thereby increasing the residence time between 6 and 42 years. Temperate soils contain 2-15 mg GRSP g-1, whereas arid and semiarid grasslands amount for 0.87-1.7 mg g-1, and GRSP are lower in desert soils. GRSP content is highest in acidic soils as compared to neutral and calcareous soils. Conservation tillage, organic fertilizers and AMF inhabiting crops (e.g. maize, sorghum, soybean, and wheat) increase GRSP production and transform C into stable forms, thereby sustaining soil health and reducing CO2 emissions. Crop rotations with non-mycorrhizal species (e.g. rapeseed) and fallow soils reduce AMF growth and consequently, the GRSP production.
The GRSP production increases under nutrient and water deficiency, soil warming and elevated CO2. In the context of global climate change, increased C sequestration through GRSP induced aggregate formation and organic matter stabilization prolong the mean residence time of soil C. Protecting soils against degradation under intensive land use, stable aggregate formation, and prolonging the residence time of C calls for strategies that maximize GRSP production and functions based on reduced tillage, AMF-relevant crop rotations and organic farming.
Photo: DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150571