Agricultural soil microbiome

In agricultural systems, many factors can affect the composition of the microbial community found in soil, including farming system and management practices, the type and diversity of crops or weeds, plant health or life stage, and soil conditions such as temperature, moisture, nutrient content, pH, and more. In addition to directly affecting the microbial community, all of these affect plants and if/how they interact with soil microorganisms. Plants have a complex relationship with bacteria and fungi in the soil, and will provide sugars in exchange for microbial products. When conditions are harsh enough to threaten plant survival, like during droughts, plants may cut off support to soil microorganisms, which can cause the community to crash. Similarly, microbial communities may be unsupportive or pathogenic towards plants, and can hamper seed germination, as well as growth or health of plants.

I collaborate with plant and soil scientists to better understand how agricultural practices and environmental conditions affect soil microbial communities in the context of food production.

Relevant Reviews

  1. Ishaq, S.L2017. Plant-Bacteria Interactions in Agriculture and the Use of Farming Systems to Improve Diversity and Productivity. In: Plant probiotic bacteria: solutions to feed the World, AIMS Microbiology 3(2): 335-353. No impact factor. Article.

Related Projects

Soil bacterial communities of wheat vary across the growing season and among dryland farming systems.

Framing the discussion of microorganisms as a facet of social equity in human health

Vinyl flooring materials inside petri dishes and seeded with house dust for experimentation

Accumulation of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate from polyvinyl chloride flooring into settled house dust and the effect on the bacterial community.

Agroecosystem resilience is modified by management system via plant–soil feedbacks

Pelleted-hay alfalfa feed increases sheep wether weight gain and rumen bacterial richness over loose-hay alfalfa feed.

Zinc amino acid supplementation alters yearling ram rumen bacterial communities but zinc sulfate supplementation does not.

An investigation into rumen fungal and protozoal diversity in three rumen fractions, during high-fiber or grain-induced sub-acute ruminal acidosis conditions, with or without active dry yeast supplementation. 

Biogeographical Differences in the Influence of Maternal Microbial Sources on the Early Successional Development of the Bovine Neonatal Gastrointestinal tract.

Ground Juniperus pinchotii and urea in supplements fed to Rambouillet ewe lambs. Part 2: Ewe lamb rumen microbial communities.

A living soil inoculum increases soil microbial diversity, crop and weed growth using soil from organic and conventional farms in northeastern Montana.

High-throughput DNA sequencing of the moose rumen from different geographical location reveals a core ruminal methanogenic archaeal diversity and a differential ciliate protozoal diversity.

Fibrolytic bacteria isolated from the rumen of North American moose (Alces alces) and their potential as a probiotic for ruminants.

Dissertation: A Comparative Analysis Of The Moose Rumen Microbiota And The Pursuit Of Improving Fibrolytic Systems

Design and validation of four new primers for next-generation sequencing to target the 18S rRNA gene of gastrointestinal ciliate protozoa.

High-throughput DNA sequencing of the ruminal bacteria from moose (Alces alces) in Vermont, Alaska, and Norway.

Insight into the bacterial gut microbiome of the North American moose (Alces alces).