Microorganisms have been acknowledged for centuries as key influencers on their surrounding envir ... Read more
Microorganisms have been acknowledged for centuries as key influencers on their surrounding environment. Scientific research has recently been able to validate and explore this using high throughput sequencing techniques that offer the potential to efficiently investigate the biodiversity in environmental samples. Advanced DNA sequencing techniques combined with modern microbial cultivation can provide a profound conception of a microbial community’s genotypic and phenotypic characteristics from a single environmental sample. I have combined both techniques in this MSc thesis, with a focus on analysing and inferring the microbial properties of Greenlandic glacial rock flour (GRF). GRF is currently being explored as a novel soil mineraliser, due to its promising mineralogical properties and the fact it represents an abundant and sustainable resource. I therefore characterised the microbial community of both pure GRF samples, and also following blending with agricultural soils to examine any resulting consequences to the agricultural soil microbial communities.
The MSc thesis begins with an introduction containing a description of GRF, the microbiology related to the subject and the techniques used in this thesis. Subsequently this is followed with a first manuscript “Taxonomic profiling of the microbial community of Greenlandic glacial rock flour - a novel soil mineraliser” describing the microbial community of GRF, and then a second manuscript “Exploring the microbial consequences of applying the Greenlandic glacial rock flour soil mineraliser to depleted agricultural soils” analysing the microbial consequences (negative and/or positive) over time associated to GRF. Lastly, overall perspectives and conclusions are presented.