MPG Microbial Ecology Facilities
Microbial communities in soils and plants differ with microsite conditions, environmental factors, and the resident flora and fauna. The MPG laboratory investigates how microbial communities and individual species influence the competitive ability and vigor of plants. We use this bottom-up approach to learn how microbes affect plant communities on a landscape scale.
Research at the MPG laboratory focuses on the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of invasive plants, fungal pathogens in cheatgrass, nitrogen-fixing bacteria in shrubs, and fungal endophyte communities in Western white pines. We also use stable isotope and quantum dot technologies to track carbon and nutrient fluxes through grasslands invaded by exotic plants.
- Plant and microbial DNA extractions
- DNA purification
- Next generation/454 sequencing prep
- DNA amplification (PCR)
- Gel electrophoresis
- DNA sequence analyses
- Greenhouse experiments
- Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy
- Seed vernalization
- pH testing
- Soil sample processing
- Plant tissue analyses
- Fungal and bacterial culturing