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Physiological and Biochemical Methods for Studying Soil Biota and Their Function

E. kandeler

Introduction 53

Scale of Investigations and Collection of Samples 54 Storage and Pretreatment of Samples 56 Microbial Biomass 57

Chloroform Fumigation Incubation and Extraction Methods 57 Substrate-Induced Respiration 58 Isotopic Composition of Microbial Biomass 58 Signature Molecules as a Measure of Microbial Biomass and Microbial Community Structure 59

ATP as a Measure of Active Microbial Biomass 59 Microbial Membrane Components and Fatty Acids 60 Respiratory Quinones as a Measure of Structural Diversity 62 Ergosterol as a Measure of Fungal Biomass 63 Lipopolysaccharides, Glycoproteins, and Cell Walls 64 Growth Rates from Signature Molecules 65 Physiological Analyses 65

Culture-Based Studies 65

Isolation and Characterization of Specific Organisms 66 Soil Organic Matter Decomposition and Respiration 67 Nitrogen Mineralization 72 Activities and Locations of Enzymes 72 Spectrophotometric Methods 73 Fluorescence Methods 75

Techniques for Imaging the Location of Enzymes 77 Functional Diversity 77 References and Suggested Reading 80

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