Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Barber, B.L., Seebinger, J.D., Sadowsky, M.J., Koskinen, W.C., Kandeler, E. 2004. Automated assay of alkaline phosphomonoesterase activity in soil [CD-ROM]. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, November 1-5, 2004, Seattle, WA.
Technical Abstract: Soil microorganisms play a major role in the recycling of organic and inorganic molecules in the biosphere. Phosphorus is a major limiting nutrient in most ecosystems and its cycling and use is dependent on plant and microbial phosphatases. Phosphomonoesterases release phosphorus from phosphomonoesters and include the classical acid and alkaline phosphatases. The objective of this research was to automate the labor intensive analysis of phosphomonoesterase activity in soils. We used a Zymark XP laboratory robotic system for soil handling, solvent addition and exchange, filtration, incubation, reagent addition, and final sample preparations. Phosphomonesterase activity was measured using phenylphosphate as substrate and samples were analyzed using a 96-well microplate reader. Our results indicate that our robotic system was capable of effectively measuring phosphomonesterase activity in soils differing in physical and chemical characteristics. Results obtained using manual and robotic procedures were comparable in precisions and accuracy. We estimate the robotic system decreases labor associated with this assay by a factor 10, and saves considerably on reagent costs.