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Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture
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Farming Systems Project


Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 1265-12000-038-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: May 17, 2006
End Date: May 16, 2011

Develop an increased understanding of soil microbial ecology and how soil microbial communities may be managed to increase agricultural sustainability and improve soil quality. Develop improved methods including FAME analysis and PCR primers to assess soil and rhizosphere microbiological communities. Determine the effects of soil properties such as texture, pH, organic matter, aggregation, and mineralogy on soil and rhizosphere microbial community structure.

Develop fast and sensitive methods for fatty acid analysis in order to identify single colonies of cultured bacteria and identify fatty acids of microbial origin in environmental samples. Develop new PCR primers to microbes that are widely distributed in soil but not generally cultivable, including Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Archaebacteria. ARS scientists across USA collect soils varying widely in soil type and management system. Subsamples sent to participating labs for analysis. Analyze microbial community structure by PLFA and T-RFLP. In laboratory experiments soils amended with silica particles to alter texture, incubated with wheat straw, and microbial community structure analyzed. Soils incubated at various temperatures and water potentials and microbial community structure analyzed. Soils amended with different types and quantities of organic matter and microbial community structure analyzed.


Project Team
Buyer, Jeffrey
Rice, Clifford
Maul, Jude
Project Annual Reports
  FY 2007
  FY 2006
Related National Programs
  Soil Resource Management (202)
Last Modified: 11/05/2008
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