Use of earthworm casts to validate FT-IR spectroscopy as a 'sentinel' technology for high-throughput monitoring of global changes in microbial ecology

John Scullion, Geoffrey Nigel Elliott, Wei Huang, Royston Goodacre, Hilary Worgan, Robert M. Darby, Mark J. Bailey, Dylan Gwynn-Jones, Gareth W. Griffith, Michael K. Winson, Peter A. Williams, Christopher D. Clegg, John Draper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate metabolic fingerprinting by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy as a technique for investigating microbial communities and their activities in soil. FT-IR spectra from earthworm casts, and other ‘biosamples’, were compared using multivariate cluster analyses. The work formed part of a wider study to quantify the risk of horizontal gene flow and to assess ecological impacts associated with the release of GM crops or recombinant micro-organisms. A range of samples, including pure cultures of similar soil bacteria, plant materials and earthworm casts of various ages and feeding regimes were analysed. A subset of the cast FT-IR data was compared with DGGE analysis of extracted DNA/RNA. Cluster analysis of FT-IR spectra was capable of differentiating between different bacterial, litter and cast samples. There was congruence between FT-IR and DGGE clustering for food type but not for cast age. Further detailed work on the microbial populations will be needed to investigate relationships between microbial and spectroscopy data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-446
Number of pages7
JournalPedobiologia
Volume47
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event7th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology - Cardiff, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 01 Sept 200106 Sept 2002

Keywords

  • FT-IR
  • metabolic fingerprinting
  • micro-organisms
  • earthworms

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