Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Factors affecting l-asparaginase activity in soils

  • W. T. FrankenbergerJr
  • M. A. Tabatabai


Studies on the distribution of l-asparaginase in soil profile samples revealed that its activity generally decreases with sample depth and is accompanied by a decrease in organic C content. Statistical analyses indicated that l-asparaginase activity was significantly correlated (**P<0.01) with organic C (r=0.86**) and total N (r=0.78**) in the 26 surface soil samples examined. There was no significant relationship between l-asparaginase activity and the percentage of clay or sand. There was, however, a significant correlation between l-asparaginase activity and amidase (r=0.82**) and urease (r=0.79**) activities in the surface samples studied. The effects of 21 trace elements, 12 herbicides, 2 fungicides, and 2 insecticides on l-asparaginase activity in soils showed that most of the trace elements and pesticides, at the concentrations used, inhibited the reaction catalyzed by this enzyme. The degree of inhibition varied among soils. When the trace elements were compared, at the rate of 5 μmol g-1 soil, the average inhibition of l-asparaginase in three soils showed that Ag(I), Cd(II), Hg(II), Ni(II), Pb(II), and V(IV) were the most effective inhibitors (average inhibition ≥20%). The least effective inhibitors (average ≤10%) included Cu(I), Ba(II), Co(II), Sn(II), Zn(II), Al(III), Se(IV), As(V), and Mo(VI). Other trace elements that inhibited l-asparaginase activity in soils were Cu(II), Mn(II), As(III), B(III), Cr(III), Fe(III), Ti(IV), and W(VI). When the pesticides were compared, at the rate of 10 μg active ingredient g-1 soil, the average inhibition of l-asparaginase activity in three soils ranged from 4% with Merpan to 46% with Malaspray. Other pesticides that inhibited l-asparaginase activity in soils (average inhibition in parentheses) were Aatrex (17%), Alanap (21%), Amiben (18%), Banvel (12%), Bladex (24%), 2,4-D (17%), Dinitramine (19%), Eradicane (16%), Lasso (40%), Paraquat (33%), Sutan (39%), treflan (7%), Menesan (18%), and Diazinon (33%).

Key words

Organic N Urease Amidase Asparaginase Soil enzymes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. T. FrankenbergerJr
    • 1
  • M. A. Tabatabai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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