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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Nitrogen isotope analysis of free glycine in soil using isotope dilution mass spectrometry

Norlin Elin, Irgum Knut, Ohlsson Anders


To enable the estimation of production and consumption rates of free glycine in soils through15N isotope dilution experiments, an isotope dilution mass spectrometric method was developed. The method, which enabled high precision N isotope ratio determination of glycine in soil extracts atδ15N levels up to 4000‰ and concentrations from approximately 2μM, is based on the following steps: (i) addition of glycine spike to the soil extract, (ii) removal of humic substances and pre-concentration of glycine using solid phase extraction, (iii) derivatization of amino acids, (iv) separation of the derivatives using gas chromatography (GC), (v) their combustion to yield sample N2gas, and (vi) finally the use of N isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). Judging by uncertainty budget calculations, the precision obtained (SD=0.01–0.06at%15N) is sufficient for detecting differences in N isotopic ratios obtained in15N isotope dilution experiments.

Published in

Soil Biology and Biochemistry
2007, volume: 39, number: 2, pages: 550-559
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Norlin, Elin
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology
Irgum, Knut
Ohlsson, Anders
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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