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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352944

Research Project: Optimizing Water Use Efficiency for Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: A comparison between fatty acid methyl ester profiling methods as soil health indicators for microbial community composition

Author
item Cano, Amanda - Texas Tech University
item Li, Chenhui - University Of Missouri
item Acosta-martinez, Veronica
item Veum, Kristen
item Moore-kucera, Jennifer - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2018
Publication Date: 8/4/2018
Citation: Cano, A., Li, C., Acosta Martinez, V., Veum, K.S., Moore-Kucera, J. 2018. A comparison between fatty acid methyl ester profiling methods as soil health indicators for microbial community composition. Meeting Abstract. Poster #1.

Interpretive Summary: Microbial community characterization through fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiling typically is conducted with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) or ester-linked fatty acid methyl ester (EL-FAME) methods. Although both methods provide microbial sensitivity to soil management, FAME biomarkers used for categorizing microbial groups may differ between methods across geographic regions that vary in soil type and climate. As soil health assessments aim to be utilized across the nation and globe, proper interpretation of microbial communities across a range of environments will be necessary. The objective of this research is to compare PLFA and EL-FAME methods in soil samples which represent multiple management practices, soil textures and properties across different geographical regions. Overall, total FAME concentration as well as concentrations and relative abundance for saprophytic fungi and all bacterial groups (Gram positive, Gram negative, and actinobacteria) were positively correlated among PLFA and EL-FAME methods. Further multivariate plots are being performed to identify correlations for clay, pH and soil C across the samples to determine if soil properties influence these relationships. Results from this study will optimize FAME soil health indicators and provide helpful information to aid in soil health assessments.

Technical Abstract: Microbial community characterization through fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiling typically is conducted with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) or ester-linked fatty acid methyl ester (EL-FAME) methods. Although both methods provide microbial sensitivity to soil management, FAME biomarkers used for categorizing microbial groups may differ between methods across geographic regions that vary in soil type and climate. As soil health assessments aim to be utilized across the nation and globe, proper interpretation of microbial communities across a range of environments will be necessary. The objective of this research is to compare PLFA and EL-FAME methods in soil samples which represent multiple management practices, soil textures and properties across different geographical regions. Overall, total FAME concentration as well as concentrations and relative abundance for saprophytic fungi and all bacterial groups (Gram positive, Gram negative, and actinobacteria) were positively correlated among PLFA and EL-FAME methods. Further multivariate plots are being performed to identify correlations for clay, pH and soil C across the samples to determine if soil properties influence these relationships. Results from this study will optimize FAME soil health indicators and provide helpful information to aid in soil health assessments.