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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Research Project #439351

Research Project: Stimulation of Potentially Active Soil Microbes to Provide Maximum Soil Health

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Project Number: 6064-21660-001-37-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2021

Objective:
1. Evaluate the influence of soil, moisture and water activity on the active and potentially active bacteria in soil, as an indicator of soil health. 2. Evaluate the influence of agricultural soil amendment on soil health including: inorganic fertilizer, organic fertilizer, and microplastics. 3. Evaluate the efficacy of restoration strategies to promote soil health in degraded soils.

Approach:
In this proposal we evaluate soil health through: i) the use of a new AMP Index assay, which provides a real-time status of the metabolic activity of the soil; and ii) “Omic” approaches utilizing metagenomics to indicate community membership and abundance as well as presence of functional genes, and enzymatic assays to evaluate community physiological functionality. These assays will be used to improve our understanding of the physical and biochemical interactions and processes within and between soil and its environment, in response to moisture, nutrient and/or contaminant amendment. Such understanding will guide the establishment of techniques and management practices that will maximize soil health, resiliency, and sustainability of agricultural production systems, giving new meaning to the term precision agriculture.