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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar - Charlotte Solomon

Plan to join Charlotte Solomon's graduate exit seminar on April 10, 2024, at 8:00 am in Kottman Hall 333C or via Zoom. Charlotte will present, "Multi-Substrate Enzyme Assay as a Soil Quality Indicator."

Abstract: Soil health (SH) indicators are needed to guide sustainable agricultural management, optimize crop productivity, and to quantify public investment in soil conservation programs. Several enzyme assays have been shown to be sensitive for detecting land management and degraded soils, and as such hold potential as SH indicators. There is an advantage to running two or three assays on each sample, which can reflect different microbial or biochemical soil properties. This approach would reduce labor and input expenses over doing the assays independently. However, a multi-substrate assay must be optimized and vetted before it can be used as a SH indicator. Therefore, the global objective of this thesis was to optimize and test an integrative multi-substrate assay using two key enzymes that have proven to be sensitive SH indicators. A multi-substrate assay would reduce the analytical expenses over doing two or more assays separately. This would be useful for commercial labs to reduce time and labor when testing for SH. Furthermore, there is limited research on the ability of a multi-substrate assay for detecting soil management over single enzyme assays.

Advisor: Dr. Richard Dick