Analyses of Soil Microbial Communities 【土壌微生物コミュニティーの解析】

In soils, there are millions of microbes. We cannot easily "see" them but they are very important. For example, they decompose our waste and produce nutrients for plants. They fertilize the soils and sustain our foods.



Soil microbial importance is not just related to their size or numbers but their "community structures" because different microbes have different roles in soils and thousands of microbial species interact in each soil.

To understand the interaction, we use extracted soil DNA samples. They can be analysed using a machine called "next-generation sequencer". This machine tells us the proportion of different microbial species in each soil.

However, it is still difficult to determine the controlling factors of the soil microbial community structures. It is also hard to answer a simple question such as "what is the best soil microbial community structure?".

Our soils are now facing a lot of challenges, such as drought, heat and contamination. We continue our research to understand how soils cope with these challenges and how we can help soils to deal with these stresses.