Advertisement

Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 12, pp 1775–1780 | Cite as

Bio-Organic Geochemistry research in China: Advances, opportunities and challenges

  • Chuanlun ZhangEmail author
  • Ping’an Peng
  • Meixun Zhao
  • Shucheng Xie
  • Jianfang Chen
  • Weiguo Liu
Progress
  • 49 Downloads

Abstract

The discipline of “Bio-Organic Geochemistry” is a cross research field between biogeochemistry and traditional organic geochemistry, which focuses on geochemical processes related to the biosynthesis of organic molecules (particularly lipids) by (micro) organisms, organic matter production by primary producers, degradation of organic matter by microbial processes recorded by retainable lipid biomarkers, and organic proxies for studies of paleo-climate, paleo-environments, paleoecology and Earth evolution. This field aims to go beyond the traditional petroleum-oriented Organic Geochemistry by integrating with biogeochemical concepts concerned mostly with biomolecules from cellular material such as DNA and lipids. A formal Chinese organization in Bio-Organic Geochemistry was established in 2012 when the first conference was held in Guangzhou. This organization has witnessed rapid growth over the past six years with focused research addressing organic proxies in paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental applications, with particular rapid development in glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers-derived proxies. Most progresses in China so far are made following or paralleling the international trend in biogeochemical studies. Things have begun to change with China’s ambitious initiatives in several bio-geo programs such as the Ocean Deep Drilling Program of China, the Microbial Hydrosphere Program, the Deep Carbon Observatory, and the Microbiome Program. Looking forward in the 21st Century, the growing Chinese research community in Bio-Organic Geochemistry faces grand opportunities and challenges as Chinese scientists propel themselves toward global research frontiers.

Keywords

Bio-Organic Geochemistry Biogeochemistry Geomicrobiology Paleoclimate proxies Carbon cycles Microbial genomics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This writing benefits from discussions with a number of colleagues from the Chinese Bio-Organic Geochemistry community. We thank the two anonymous reviewers who provided constructive comments that improved the quality of the paper. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41530105, 41673073 & 91428308), the Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2016YFA0601101), the Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Archaea Geo-Omics, Southern University of Science and Technology, and the Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Grant No. MGQNLM-TD201810).

References

  1. Chen Y F, Zhang C L, Jia C L, Zheng F F, Zhu C. 2016. Tracking the signals of living archaea: A multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method for detection of trace amounts of intact polar lipids from the natural environment. Org Geochem, 97: 1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen Y F, Zheng F F, Chen S Z, Liu H D, Phelps T J, Zhang C L. 2018. Branched GDGT production at elevated temperatures in anaerobic soil microcosm incubations. Org Geochem, 117: 12–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dai G H, Zhu S S, Liu Z G, Chen L T, He J S, Feng X J. 2016. Distribution of fatty acids in the alpine grassland soils of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1329–1338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dang X Y, Ding W H, Yang H, Pancost R D, Naafs B D A, Xue J T, Lin X, Lu J Y, Xie S C. 2018. Different temperature dependence of the bacterial brGDGT isomers in 35 Chinese lake sediments compared to that in soils. Org Geochem, 119: 72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dang X Y, Xue J T, Yang H, Xie S C. 2016a. Environmental impacts on the distribution of microbial tetraether lipids in Chinese lakes with contrasting pH: Implications for lacustrine paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 939–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dang X Y, Yang H, Naafs B D A, Pancost R D, Xie S C. 2016b. Evidence of moisture control on the methylation of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in semi-arid and arid soils. Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 189: 24–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ge H M, Zhang C L. 2016. Advances in GDGT research in Chinese marginal seas: A review. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1173–1186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ge H M, Zhang C L, Versteegh G J M, Chen L L, Fan D D, Dong L, Liu J J. 2016. Evolution of the East China Sea sedimentary environment in the past 14 kyr: Insights from tetraethers-based proxies. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 927–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hu J W, Zhang H L, Li L, Wang Y Y, Zhao M X. 2016. Seasonal changes of organic matter origins and anammox activity in the Changjiang Estuary deduced from multi-biomarkers in suspended particulates. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1339–1352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jia G D, Wang X X, Guo W, Dong L. 2017. Seasonal distribution of archaeal lipids in surface water and its constraint on their sources and the TEX86 temperature proxy in sediments of the South China Sea. J Geophys Res-Biogeosci, 122: 592–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jiao N, Herndl G J, Hansell D A, Benner R, Kattner G, Wilhelm S W, Kirchman D L, Weinbauer M G, Luo T, Chen F, Azam F. 2010. Microbial production of recalcitrant dissolved organic matter: Long-term carbon storage in the global ocean. Nat Rev Microbiol, 8: 593–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Li J J, Kong L, Yang H, Wang Q, Yang X, Shen J, Zhao C. 2017. Temperature variations since 1750 CE inferred from an alpine lake in the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Quat Int, 436: 37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li X Y, Zheng F F, Chen Y F, Guo W T, Zhang T T, Hu A Y, Yu C P, Zhang C L. 2016. The spatial distribution of archaeal lipids in a mesoscale subtropical watershed, Southeast China. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1317–1328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liang J, Li D, Wang M D, Zhang X Y, Hou J Z. 2016. Application of orthogonal design to the extraction and HPLC analysis of sedimentary pigments from lakes of the Tibetan Plateau. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1195–1205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liu W G, Wang H Y, Zhang C L L, Liu Z H, He Y X. 2013. Distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids along an altitudinal transect on Mt. Xiangpi, NE Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Org Geochem, 57: 76–83Google Scholar
  16. Schouten S, Hopmans E C, Sinninghe Damsté J S. 2013. The organic geochemistry of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids: A review. Org Geochem, 54: 19–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schouten S, Hopmans E C, Schefuβ E, Sinninghe Damsté J S. 2002. Distributional variations in marine crenarchaeotal membrane lipids: A new tool for reconstructing ancient sea water temperatures? Earth Planet Sci Lett, 204: 265–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sun Q, Chu G Q, Liu M M, Xie M M, Li S Q, Ling Y A, Wang X H, Shi L M, Jia G D, Lu H Y. 2011. Distributions and temperature dependence of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in recent lacustrine sediments from China and Nepal. J Geophys Res, 116: G01008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tang C Y, Yang H, Pancost R D, Griffiths M L, Xiao G Q, Dang X Y, Xie S C. 2017. Tropical and high latitude forcing of enhanced megadroughts in Northern China during the last four terminations. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 479: 98–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tang Y, Gong M, Zhu F G. 1983a. Study on some organic matter in the sediment from the East China Sea. In: Proceedings of international symposium on Sedimentation on the continental shelf, with special reference to the East China Sea. Beijing: China Ocean Press. 856–867Google Scholar
  21. Tang Y, Gong M, Zhu F G. 1983b. Study on lipids and humic substances of the East China Sea shelf. Acta Sedimentol Sin, 1: 118–130Google Scholar
  22. Wang H Y, Dong H L, Zhang C L, Jiang H C, Liu W G. 2016. A 12-kyr record of microbial branched and isoprenoid tetraether index in Lake Qinghai, northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: Implications for paleoclimate reconstruction. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 951–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang H, Leng Q, Liu W, Yang H. 2017. A rapid lake-shallowing event terminated preservation of the Miocene Clarkia Fossil Konservat-Lagerstätte (Idaho, USA). Geology, 45: 239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang M D, Liang J, Hou J Z, Hu L. 2016. Distribution of GDGTs in lake surface sediments on the Tibetan Plateau and its influencing factors. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 961–974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wei Y L, Wang J X, Liu J, Dong L, Li L, Wang H, Wang P, Zhao M X, Zhang C L L. 2011. Spatial variations in archaeal lipids of surface water and core-top sediments in the South China Sea and their implications for paleoclimate studies. Appl Environ Microbiol, 77: 7479–7489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wu P, Xiao X T, Tao S Q, Yang Z S, Zhang H L, Li L, Zhao M X. 2016. Biomarker evidence for changes in terrestrial organic matter input into the Yellow Sea mud area during the Holocene. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1216–1224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wu X, Dong H, Zhang C L, Liu X, Hou W, Zhang J, Jiang H. 2013. Evaluation of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether proxies for reconstruction of the paleo-environment on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Org Geochem, 61: 45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Xie S C, Pancost R D, Chen L, Evershed R P, Yang H, Zhang K X, Huang J H, Xu Y D. 2012. Microbial lipid records of highly alkaline deposits and enhanced aridity associated with significant uplift of the Tibetan Plateau in the Late Miocene. Geology, 40: 291–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Xie W, Zhang C L L, Wang J X, Chen Y F, Zhu Y Q, de T J R, Dong H L, Hartnett H E, Hedlund B P, Klotz M G. 2015. Distribution of ether lipids and composition of the archaeal community in terrestrial geothermal springs: Impact of environmental variables. Environ Microbiol, 17: 1600–1614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Xing L, Sachs J P, Zhang H L, Li L, Ji Z Q, Zhao M X. 2016. Hydrogen isotopes in palmitic and stearic acids in suspended particles from the Changjiang River Estuary. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 981–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Xu S D, Zhang J, Wang X X, Jia G D. 2016. Catchment environmental change over the 20th Century recorded by sedimentary leaf wax n-alkane δ13C off the Pearl River estuary. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 975–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yang H, Lu X X, Ding W H, Lei Y Y, Dang X Y, Xie S C. 2015. The 6-methyl branched tetraethers significantly affect the performance of the methylation index (MBT’) in soils from an altitudinal transect at Mount Shennongjia. Org Geochem, 82: 42–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Yang H, Pancost R D, Dang X Y, Zhou X Y, Evershed R P, Xiao G Q, Tang C Y, Gao L, Guo Z T, Xie S C. 2014. Correlations between microbial tetraether lipids and environmental variables in Chinese soils: Optimizing the paleo-reconstructions in semi-arid and arid regions. Geochim Cosmochim Acta, 126: 49–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhang C L. 2017. Untangling the role that microbes play in ocean carbon cycleA new paradigm in marine biogeochemistry. Sci China Earth Sci, 60: 409–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang C L, Wang J, Dodsworth J A, Williams A J, Zhu C, Hinrichs K U, Zheng F, Hedlund B P. 2013. In situ production of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in a great basin hot spring (USA). Front Microbiol, 4: 181Google Scholar
  36. Zheng F F, Zhang C L, Chen Y F, Li F Y, Ma C L, Pu Y, Zhu Y Q, Wang Y L, Liu W G. 2016. Branched tetraether lipids in Chinese soils: Evaluating the fidelity of MBT/CBT proxies as paleoenvironmental proxies. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1353–1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhou B, Wali G, Peterse F, Bird M I. 2016. Organic carbon isotope and molecular fossil records of vegetation evolution in central Loess Plateau since 450 kyr. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1206–1215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhou H D, Hu J F, Spiro B, Peng P A, Tang J H. 2014. Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in surficial coastal and open marine sediments around China: Indicators of sea surface temperature and effects of their sources. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol, 395: 114–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhu X W, Mao S Y, Wu N Y, Jia G D, Sun Y G, Guan H X, Wu D D. 2016. Detection and indication of 1,3,4-C27–29 triol in the sediment of northern South China Sea. Sci China Earth Sci, 59: 1187–1194CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuanlun Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ping’an Peng
    • 3
  • Meixun Zhao
    • 4
  • Shucheng Xie
    • 5
  • Jianfang Chen
    • 6
  • Weiguo Liu
    • 7
  1. 1.Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Archaea Geo-Omics, Department of Ocean Science and EngineeringSouthern University of Science and TechnologyShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine GeologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology (Ocean University of China), Ministry of Education/Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental ScienceQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, School of Earth SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  6. 6.Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and BiogeochemistryState Oceanic AdministrationHangzhouChina
  7. 7.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations