Information - SSS24 Soil microbial activity. Assessment, monitoring and modelling
It is well established that soil functionality mainly depends on microbial processes and different methods are available to determine microbial activity of soil. These are usually based on classical techniques determining rates of metabolic processes, such as carbon dioxide evolution and dehydrogenase activity, or the activity of enzymes involved in specific reactions. Since it is not correct to assume that a single measurement can reflect a multitude of biochemical reactions occurring inside microbial cells, indices combining measurements of different criteria have been proposed. Recently measurements reflecting expression of microbial genes such as the characterization of mRNA and the proteomic approach have been proposed so as to better reflect microbial activity in soil. Reporter gene technology may permit determining microbial gene expression in situ. Modelling microbial activity should also be emphasised so as to mimic microbial functions in situ and to better assess future research needs on the subject.
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