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You are a graduate student working on a followship for a biotech companny .You are part of a group that will perform some scientiific research. You recieve various soil samples shipped to you from remote areas of the world. You and your team members need to evaluate these samples to determine if they contain infectious particles , such as viruses ,bacteria , fungi , or parasitic worms , or not , and to make a hypothesis about their viability for use in your research projects.

You are the team leader and need to create a presentation on the methodology or process you will follow to analyze these samples for your team .You need to explain to them the criteria you will use to draw your conclusions. In your presentation you have to be specific about describing the diagnostic results that you will use in your evaluation of the soil samples because some of team members have never performed this analysis before. Include your references.

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A SUMMARY GUIDE FOR THE MICROBIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF SOIL AND COMPOST

Microorganisms are primary decomposers and make soil fertile by providing nutrients for plant growth. This is a very complex process that involves many types of microorganisms. It is estimated that 1 foot-acre of fertile soil contains as much as 1,000 pounds of bacteria.

In order to have a systematic yet manageable method to analyze the soil microbiology, we examine the number of viable organisms in various functional groups (microbial groups that have a common activity or association). The functional groups examined for agricultural soil microbiological analysis represent some of the major bacterial and fungal categories for soil microorganisms. While the categories are representative of functional groupings, there may be overlap between groups. For instance, some actinomycetes are also nitrogen-fixers and pseudomonads are heterotrophic bacteria.

Bacteria and fungi numbers in each sample would be expected to vary according to the available nutrients, temperature, available oxygen, moisture, pH, predators and other environmentally influenced factors. Examination of the functional groups is a method to analyze soil for balanced microbial populations as well as troubleshooting problem areas.

When looking at actual numbers (enumerations) of various functional groups of microorganisms, it is helpful to take the entire profile into consideration. The comparison of ratios of organisms within a sample is ...

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