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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-BASED SOIL AND CROP MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Title: Effects of residue removal on glomalin related soil protein content of soils

Authors
item Bohlmann, Alex
item Stetson, Sarah
item Osborne, Shannon

Submitted to: Soil/Water Research, Progress Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2011
Publication Date: May 15, 2011
Citation: Bohlmann, A.R., Stetson, S.J., Osborne, S.L. 2011. Effects of residue removal on glomalin related soil protein content of soils. Soil/Water Research 2010 Progress Report. #SOIL PR 10-22. Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University.

Interpretive Summary: Soil organic matter impacts many physical soil properties, and can serve as a soil carbon sink. Identifying agricultural management practices that increase soil organic matter are vital for improving or maintaining soil quality. Glomalin is a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and is a fraction of the soil organic matter that is thought to be sensitive to changes in agricultural practices in the short-term. Changes in agricultural practices including tillage of soil and removal of plant residue can affect microorganisms including abruscular mycorrhizal fungi. The role of corn residue removal on amounts of total protein, including glomalin related soil protein, was explored. Total protein content was studied in soils from a corn-soybean rotation with low and high percentage of corn residue removed for biofuels production. The low corn residue removal level consists of corn harvested for grain and the entire residue remains on the soil surface while corn cut for silage is designated a high level of residue removal. Total soil protein, including glomalin related soil protein was quantified by Bradford total protein assay and found to be higher in soils under a low rate of residue removal.

Technical Abstract: Soil organic matter (SOM) mediates many physical soil properties, and may serve as a carbon sink. Identifying agricultural management practices that increase SOM are vital for improving or maintaining soil quality. Glomalin is a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and is a fraction of the SOM that is thought to be sensitive to changes in agricultural practices in the short-term. It is found in abundance in native and agricultural soils. Changes in agricultural practices including tillage of soil and removal of plant residue can affect microorganisms including AM fungi. In this study the role of corn residue removal on amounts of total protein, including glomalin related soil protein (GRSP), was explored. Total protein content was studied in soils from a corn-soybean rotation with low and high percentage of corn residue removed for biofuels production. The low corn residue removal level consists of corn harvested for grain and the entire residue remains on the soil surface while corn cut for silage is designated a high level of residue removal. A sodium pyrophosphate extraction was used to extract GRSP from soil samples. Total soil protein, including GRSP, was quantified by Bradford total protein assay. It was found that soil protein is higher in soils under a low rate of residue removal.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014