Diverse molecular compositions of dissolved organic matter derived from different composts using ESI FT-ICR MS

Zhen Yu , Minru Liu , Yunkai Tan , Kejing Fang , Changya Chen , Zhihua Tang , Xiaoming Liu


Received March 09, 2020,Revised , Accepted June 10, 2020, Available online June 29, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 80-89

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) derived from various composts can promote significant changes of soil properties. However, little is known about the DOM compositions and their similarities and differences at the molecular level. In this study, the molecular compositions of DOM derived from kitchen waste compost (KWC), green waste compost (GWC), manure waste compost (MWC), and sewage sludge compost (SSC) were characterized by electrospray ionization coupled with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS). The molecular formulas were classified into four subcategories: CHO, CHON, CHOS, and CHONS. The KWC, MWC, and SSC DOM represented the highest fraction (35.8%-47.4%) of CHON subcategory, while the GWC DOM represented the highest fraction (68.4%) of CHO subcategory. The GWC DOM was recognized as the nitrogen- and sulfur-deficient compounds that were less saturated, more aromatic, and more oxidized compared with other samples. Further analysis of the oxygen, nitrogen-containing (N-containing), and sulfur-containing (S-containing) functional groups in the four subcategories revealed higher organic molecular complexity. Comparison of the similarities and differences of the four samples revealed 22.8% ubiquitous formulas and 17.4%, 11.1%, 10.7%, and 6.3% unique formulas of GWC, KWC, SSC, and MWC DOM, respectively, suggesting a large proportion of ubiquitous DOM as well as unique, source-specific molecular signatures. The findings presented herein provide new insight into the molecular characterization of DOM derived from various composts and demonstrated the potential role of these different compounds for agricultural utilization.

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