Biotech Flyer Fall 2021

Soil Microbiome Project with Urban Tilth

In partnership with Urban Tilth, we are sampling soil and documenting observations at the North Richmond farm to provide scientific data about how their soil improvement practices change the microbiome over time.

Get involved, whether you are adding to your science experience or just getting started!

Lab team:   Analyzes soil productivity in the lab, and performs DNA extraction, sequencing, and bioinformatics techniques to identify and analyze the bacterial communities present in the plants and in the soil.  Some laboratory background desirable.  Sign up for BIOSC188 (Fall 2021 info here) or BIOSC157+BIOSC159

Field team: Gathers samples from North Richmond farm and documents farm conditions so we can test ideas about how the soil micribiome relates to the development of a productive farm.  No experience necessary!   write to for information about the next sampling event.

Projects for the Core Lab team

  • Bioinformatics team: We have sequence data to analyze!  Use computer software to analyze DNA sequences extracted from past teams’ work.  Use DNA information to identify the microbes in the soil and how they change with Urban Tilth’s work on the farm.
  • DNA team: DNA extraction and preparation for sequencing.  Use chemistry and molecular biology techniques to extract DNA from samples and amplify it for our next sequencing round.
  • Microbiology team: Microbiology analysis.  Grow microbes from farm soil in the lab and analyze which organisms are present in the most productive parts of the farm
  • Plant team: Pilot the growth of a new crop in the lab environment to develop scientific data to inform Urban Tilth about which parts of their farm are most productive for growing food.

Data from the past teams is posted here.  The posters are also in the biology building hallway!

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