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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Chloride methylation by plant pectin: an efficient, environmentally significant process

Kalin, R. and Hamilton, J. and McRoberts, C. and Keppler, F. and Harper, D.B. (2003) Chloride methylation by plant pectin: an efficient, environmentally significant process. Science, 301. pp. 206-209. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

Atmospheric chloromethane (CH3Cl) plays an important role in stratospheric ozone destruction, but many uncertainties exist regarding the strengths of its sources and sinks and particularly regarding the processes generating this naturally occurring gas. Evidence is presented here that CH3Cl is produced in many terrestrial environments by a common mechanism. Abiotic conversion of chloride to CH3Cl occurs readily in plant material, with the widespread plant component pectin acting as a methyl donor. Significant CH3Cl emissions from senescent and dead leaves were observed at ambient temperatures; those emissions rose dramatically when temperatures increased. This ubiquitous process acting in terrestrial ecosystems and during biomass burning could contribute the bulk of atmospheric CH3Cl.