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Soil Scientist
BLDG 001, Room 123, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: 301-504-8156; FAX: 301-504-6491

Summary of Research

Dr. Wright contributes 100% to the Soil Microbiology Project. Her research investigates the role of glomalin, a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, in soils. Glomalin is extracted and compared from a number of soils derived from a variety of geographic regions, crop rotational species, and tillage regimes. The relationships between glomalin and soil aggregate stability in these soils is explored. Comparisons of extractions of humic and fulvic acids and glomalin by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are performed to determine relative abundance in extractable soil organic matter. This research will explain why the contribution of AM fungi to soil organic matter was not detected by the numerous scientists who have spent their careers investigating humic substances. We have begun to assess production of AM fungi across the soil fertility gradient within an upland old-growth tropical rainforest at the La Selva Biological Station. We quantified glomalin pools across the soil nutrient gradients within the forest and are developing techniques to use glomalin as a bio-indicator for mycorrhizal biomass.

Publications (1999-present)

Wright, S. F. and A. Upadhyaya. 1999. Quantification of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi activity by the glomalin concentration on hyphal traps. Mycorrhiza 8:283-285.

Rillig, M.C., S.F. Wright , M.F. Allen, and C.B. Field. 1999. Rise in carbon dioxide changes soil structure. Nature 400:628.

Wright, S.F., J.L. Starr, and I.C. Paltineanu. 1999. Changes in aggregate stability and concentration of glomalin, a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, during transition from plow- to no-till management. Soil Science Society of America Journal 63:1825-1829.

Wright, S.F. and R.L. Anderson. 2000. Aggregate stability and glomalin in alternative crop rotations for the central Great Plains. Biology and Fertility of Soils 31:249-253.

Wright, S.F. 2000. A fluorescent antibody asssay for hyphae and glomalin from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plant and Soil 226:171-177.

Franzluebbers, A.J., S.F. Wright, J.A. Stuedemann, and H.H. Schomberg. 2000. Soil aggregate distribution and glomalin in pastures of the southern Piedmont USA. Soil Science Society of America Journal 64:1019-1026.

Hahn, A., S.F. Wright, and B. Hock. 2001. Immunochemical characterization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The Mycota Vol. IX:29-43. (Invited book chapter)

Rillig, M.C., S.F. Wright, B.A. Kimball, P.J. Pinter, G.W. Wall, M.J. Ottman, and S.W. Leavitt. 2001. Elevated carbon dioxide (FACE) and irrigation effects on water stable aggregates in an agricultural sorghum field: A possible role for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Global Change Biology 7:333-337.

Rillig, M.C., S.F. Wright, M.S. Torn, and K.A. Nichols. 2001. Unusually large contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to organic matter pools in tropical forest soils. Plant and Soil 233:167-177.

Wright, S.F. and L. Jawson. 2001. A pressure cooker method to extract glomalin from soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 65:1734-1735.

Bird, S.B., J.E. Herrick, M.M. Wander, and S.F. Wright. 2001. Spatial heterogeneity of aggregate stability and soil carbon in semi-arid rangeland. Environmental Pollution 116:445-455.

Rillig, M.C., S.F. Wright, and V.T. Eviner. 2002. The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and glomalin in soil aggregation: comparing effects of five plant species. Plant and Soil 238:325-333.

Rillig, M.C., S.F. Wright, M.R. Shaw, and C.B. Field. 2002. Artificial climate warming positively affects arbuscular mycorrhizae but decreases soil aggregate water stability in an annual grassland. Okios 97:52-58.

Millner, P.D. and S.F. Wright. 2002. New tools to determine the presence and activity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Symbiosis 33:101-123. (Invited Review)