1. In collaboration with scientistst at MIDI Inc., ARS scientists at Beltsville, MD, have developed a high-throughput method for phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis of soils. PLFA analysis is used widely to measure microbial biomass and community composition, but is somewhat slow, expensive, and difficult to run on large numbers of samples at one time. We have adapted the method to run 96 samples simultaneously, and have also created a faster gas chromatographic method for use with the analysis. This new method promises to substantially decrease the time and expense needed for the analysis.