Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) test, which measures the biomass of the microbes in the soil, is one of the tests that is currently being conducted to determine the microbial population of soil. - PLFA Webinar

April 5, 2021

Visit the Soil Health Page

Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) test, which measures the biomass of the microbes in the soil, is one of the tests that is currently being conducted to determine the microbial population of soil. It is limited in that it is a “snapshot” in time and is highly dependent on environmental conditions. It classifies the microorganisms into groups, not specific species. There are other tests that may determine the species of the microbes through DNA assaying, but these tests are more qualitative, and there is a belief that they may also show what has lived in the soil in the past and not just what is currently living in the soil. To understand the PLFA test, the MSU Extension Field Crops Team invited Donna Brandt, Research Specialist with Missouri’s Soil Health Assessment Center, to give a short presentation on soil health, PLFA analysis, and how to interpret a soil health report.  Her presentation was followed by a Q&A session where members of Extension and MSU’s soil health research community asked questions.

You Might Also Be Interested In