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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376534

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems on Spatially Variable Landscapes and Soils

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: PLFA and EL-FAME indicators of microbial community composition

item Veum, Kristen
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item Lehman, R - Michael
item LI, CHENHUI - University Of Missouri
item CANO, AMANDA - Texas Tech University
item NUNES, MARCIO - Orise Fellow

Submitted to: Laboratory Methods for Soil Health Analysis
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2020
Publication Date: 8/15/2021
Citation: Veum, K.S., Acosta Martinez, V., Lehman, R.M., Li, C., Cano, A., Nunes, M.R. 2021. PLFA and EL-FAME indicators of microbial community composition. In: Karlen, D.L., Stott, D.E., Mikha, M.M., editors. Laboratory Methods for Soil Health Analysis, Volume 2. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. p. 251-288.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Ecosystem level microbial interactions are complex, and soil microorganisms are vital constituents of the soil ecosystem. Microorganisms are also responsive to changes in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the soil, serving as early indicators of soil health degradation. Soil microorganisms are key in major biogeochemical cycles that influence the sustainability of agronomic production systems and provide a wide range of ecosystem services. The diversity and function of the soil microbial community may be the most valuable biological component of any ecosystem, providing pathways for primary production and ecological processes such as nutrient cycling. Methods for quantifying and characterizing the microbial community have evolved considerably since early efforts to culture soil microorganisms and identify them via phenotyping or by selective enrichment methods designed to characterize functional diversity. These early methods were highly selective and captured less than 1% of the existing biodiversity. Modern methods are culture-independent and focus on measurement of biomass by direct or chloroform-fumigation extraction, analysis of lipids such as ester-linked fatty acid methyl esters or phospholipid fatty acids extracted from cell membranes, or DNA-based extraction and identification techniques.