EMSL’s Soil Incubation Laboratory offers environmental chambers and incubators for conducting controlled lab studies on soils, sediment, and other environmental samples. The facilities allow for temperature manipulation, humidity/moisture manipulation, and elevated atmospheric CO2 andoffer the capability to track soil respiration during experiments. Designated areas are available for working with stable isotopes (13C, 15N, 18O) for experiments leveraging tracers. The Soil Incubation Laboratory is also equipped for culturing soil isolates and consortia for studying complex soil processes using reduced complexity systems. Research in this space supports EMSL’s mission to advance the fundamental environmental and biological research on soil microbial systems, their role in biochemical transformations, and their interaction with physical and chemical soil properties.
- Supporting the Rhizosphere Function Integrated Research Platform, the Soil Incubation Laboratory expands the ability to characterize attributes of specific soil and rhizosphere microbes and the microbe-soil interaction relevant to bioenergy, crop, and natural ecosystem responses.
- Supporting Biomolecular Pathways Integration Research Platform, the Soil Incubation Laboratory provides the capability to investigate shifts in protein, lipid, and metabolite pools under relevant environmental conditions of interest.
- Supporting the Cell Signaling and Communications Integrated Research Platform, the Soil Incubation Laboratory enables quantitative studies on individual cells and complex communities from environmental origins to understand how their individual traits and interactions can be harnessed for their beneficial properties.
- Supporting the Biogeochemical Transformations Integrated Research Platform, the Soil Incubation Laboratory facilitates studies on the interaction of the soil microbiome and physiochemical soil characteristics and their role in nutrient cycling and soil organic matter formation.
- Supporting the Terrestrial-Atmosphere Processes Integrated Research Platform, the Soil Incubation Laboratory advances the understanding of key environmental fluxes mediated by soil microbial processes and inform multiscale modeling efforts by bridging measurements between microenvironment to ecosystems.
Tips for success
- Users should consult staff early in the experimental design process to discuss specifics on the experimental conditions needed, planned length of incubations, soil microcosm design options, and the number of samples that can be accommodated.