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METAGENOMIC PREDICTION OF MICROBIAL EXTRACELLULAR POLYSACCHARIDE SYNTHESIS AND MINERAL ASSOCIATION IN SOIL

Investigators
Greenlon, A.
Institutions
University of California - Berkeley
Start date
2020
End date
2022
Objective
The overarching goal of this project is to contribute towards development of agricultural practices and technologies for farmers to directly improve soil fertility. Our framework in this pursuit is that extracellular polysaccharides (EPS: complex sugar molecules produced by plants and microorganisms) improve soil structure and agronomic soil properties. The goals of the project in illuminating this process are 1.) Quantify contributions to soil polysaccharides of different populations of soil microbes. 2.) Characterize responses of EPS producing microbial populations to soil moisture and carbon source. 3.) Identify candidate taxa / strains for improving soil properties through (EPS) production. 4.) Contribute to mentoring future generations of agricultural scientists.Towards these goals, we have the following objectives:1.) Quantify contributions to soil polysaccharides of different populations of soil microbesa. Develop bioinformatic pipelines to predict EPS structures produced by an organismb. Culture EPS producing strainsc. Verify eps structuresd. Publish EPS prediction pipelinee. Predict EPS structures produced by organisms consuming plant carbon in previous experiment2.) Characterize response of EPS-producing microbial populations to soil moisture and carbon sourcea. Quantify plant-biomass consumption by soil microbesb. Predict EPS structures produced by soil microbesc. Quantify predicted EPS molecules in experimental samplesd. Multivariate analyses to determine effects of drought and source of plant carbon on EPS productione. Publish results of experimental quantification of population-specific EPS production in soil3.) Identify candidate taxa / strains for improving soil properties through EPS productiona. Secure additional funding for targeted culturing of microbial populations that contribute most soil EPS4.) Contribute to undergraduate mentorship and gain mentoring experiencea. Work with programs at UC Berkeley offering undergraduate research opportunities to students from backgrounds underrepresented in science to recruit traineesb. Student mentees will engage with proposed research primarily on objectives 1a and 1b
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
CA-B-ECO-CMKF-CG
Accession number
1023094
Categories
Prevention and Control
Microbial Genetics
Education and Training