Workshop Report: Microbial Cycling of Isoprene
This half day workshop held at the University of East Anglia in January 2016 brought together microbial ecologists and environmental scientists from UEA and the University of Essex to showcase research on the biogeochemical cycling of isoprene, funded through an NERC grant to Colin Murrell and Terry McGenity. Isoprene is a much neglected climate active gas which is emitted to the atmosphere in the same amounts as methane, but unlike methane, the biogeochemical cycling of isoprene on Earth is poorly understood. The workshop consisted of a series of short overview talks on the bacterial metabolism of isoprene, isoprene degradation in the terrestrial and marine environment as determined by cultivation approaches and cultivation-independent methods such as functional gene probing and stable isotope probing, interactions of isoprene degraders with plants and algae, production of isoprene by trees and potential impacts on global emissions, the importance of isoprene as a climate-active gas and global budgets/modelling of isoprene, followed by discussions with potential end-users of the research, including representatives from the Met Office, the Forestry Commission and industry. One outcome of this research is this Briefing Document.