Why soil microbes are important:

Microorganisms play an important role in nutrient cycles such as the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles. Optimisation of these cycles is vital in ensuring healthy crops.  Microorganisms in the soil help to provide plants with available nitrogen and phosphorus, important elements for plant growth.

We provide a service to determine the diversity of microorganisms, as well as the functional potential within soils in order to observe the current state of the soil. The diversity tests provide information on how well the microorganisms in the soil are balanced. A balanced soil microbial community is desired for soil optimisation. Microbial communities within soil can differ from region to region, over seasons, and between crops. Many microorganisms have the ability to perform similar tasks, for example, nitrification (making nitrogen available for plant use). Testing functionality of microorganisms in soil is crucial to ensure that the desired tasks are performed by these communities.

This service provides a tool through which clients can define and monitor changes in soil microbial communities over time, or between different treatments. For soil to perform optimally, starts with keeping the microorganisms happy.

Soil Services:

We make use of a molecular fingerprinting technique, to generate a profile for each composite soil sample.  Analysis of the sample allows us to examine (single sample time point) the diversity and monitor (numerous sample time points) changes in the microbial community. This information is essential in determining how well the biological soil management strategies are performing.

Price: R600.00 excl. VAT

We do offer a package deal for the Microbial community AND Soil enzymatic activity analyses for R1000.00 excl. VAT.

The graphs below indicates the diversity and evenness of the microbial community. To answers questions like: do you have enough different microbes, and are there microbes that dominate the microbial community?

We also compare the microbial community composition. There may be a high diversity of microbes in the soil, but is the microbial community similar to the microbial communities of the same crop?

This method is ideal to compare the effect of different treatments on the microbial community in the soil.

Soil nutrient status and the rate of production of soil chemical components are important indicators of soil health. Nitrogen and phosphorus are often in short supply in the soil, and tests that can indicate how much of these nutrients are available, or whether there is sufficient potential to supply these nutrients, can shed light on the status and trajectory of soil health over time.  These tests are also an indication if the microbes are actively producing enzymes to increase the nutrient availability to the plant.

We test for:

  • EC
  • Soil Moisture
  • pH (water)
  • Nitrate and Ammonium
  • N-mineralization
  • Urease
  • β-glucosidase
  • Available P
  • Alkaline- and Acid phosphatase
  • Microbial Activity
  • Organic Carbon
  • Active Carbon

Price: R 600.00 excl. VAT

We do offer a package deal for the Microbial community AND Soil enzymatic activity analyses for R1000.00 excl. VAT.

Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we are able to quantify certain functional groups. Healthy soils have various functions that are performed by microorganisms. This technique allows us to monitor the relative levels of the organisms in soil.

Price: R225.00 excl. VAT per sample

Contact Us:

J.C. Smuts Building, 3rd Floor, Room A330, Department of Microbiology, De Beer Street, Stellenbosch, 7600
(021) 808 5806/7   info@sporatec.co.za; tcon@sun.ac.za