Functional diversity of carbon cycling microbes in soil through metagenomics
Climate projections are mainly based upon the carbon cycling due to respiration of microorganisms and plant roots in soil, as it is the major constituent of global carbon. It has been predicted that more intensive production of food and bio-fuels would impair the dynamics and structure of soil and soil organisms. The proper understanding of the ability of soil microorganisms and their key players to degrade organic material is necessary to understand the effect of climate change and intensive land use on them.
This project focuses mainly on developing a method to determine the functional diversity of carbon cycling enzymes mainly in agricultural soils and the key players behind the process. It also focuses on finding the effects of different factors such as intensive land use and climate change on the microbial community and their functions on a genetic level. This will be achieved through combination of experimental and computational techniques such as extracting the nucleic acids, hybridization techniques and 454 pyrosequencing (NGS).