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Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic Ecosystems$
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Thomas S. Bianchi and Elizabeth A. Canuel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134147

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134147.001.0001

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Proteins: Amino Acids and Amines

Proteins: Amino Acids and Amines

(p.98) 6. Proteins: Amino Acids and Amines
Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic Ecosystems

Thomas S. Bianchi

Elizabeth A. Canuel

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses proteins, which make up approximately 50% of organic matter and contain about 85% of the organic nitrogen in marine organisms. Peptides and proteins comprise an important fraction of the particulate organic carbon (13–37%) and particulate organic nitrogen (30–81%), as well as dissolved organic nitrogen (5–20%) and dissolved organic carbon (3–4%) in oceanic and coastal waters. In sediments, proteins account for approximately 7 to 25% of organic carbon and an estimated 30 to 90% of total nitrogen. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins. This class of compounds is essential to all organisms and represents one of the most important components in the organic nitrogen cycle. Amino acids represent one of the most labile pools of organic carbon and nitrogen.

Keywords:   proteins, organic matter, marine organisms, peptides, particular organic carbon, particulate organic nitrogen, amino acids

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