Listen: Opening the black box of soil microbial communities

Professor Jim He discusses how molecular biotechnology methods are shedding light on the secret world beneath our feet.

A single gram of soil may contain billions of microbes, but only about 1 per cent of soil microbes are culturable under laboratory conditions.

While soil microbial communities have long been dealt with as a black box, the development of molecular biotechnology provides powerful approaches to understand the composition, diversity and functions of microbes in soil ecosystems.

In this seminar, Professor He briefly introduces the molecular methods used in his laboratory to identify and to quantify the microbial communities in soils and uses case studies to showcase research progress in soil microbial biogeography and in soil nitrogen cycling.

These studies highlight the essential roles of microbes in soil ecosystem service including nutrient cycling and sustainable soil and agricultural management.

“Opening the black box of soil microbial communities” was the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Dean’s Seminar for June 2019.

You can watch or listen to Professor He’s seminar below; slides are available as a download or in the video.

Jim He is Professor of Soil Ecology and Deputy Head and Director of Research in the School of Agriculture and Food.