This project teams up with farmers, land owners, and land managers who can participate and submit soil samples via our website www.digupdirt.net. Here a sample submission form captures key information about their sampling site, including management practices. A sampling kit and postage-paid satchel are sent out to get the soil to us for analysis.
Once we have the samples, we extract DNA using the DNeasy Powersoil Pro extraction kits. Then using DNA metabarcoding (amplicon sequencing) the AM fungal species and their relative abundances are identified in each sample. Some of the soil sample is also used to measure soil total nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium) as well as plant-available forms of nitrogen and phosphorus.
Then through a variety of univariate and multivariate statistical analyses, the key drivers of AM fungal diversity and composition will be identified. This will allow us to understand how management impacts AM fungi across different soil types and climates of Australia.
This project has not yet shared any protocols.