Methods for Exploring Soil Microbial Diversity

  • Rama Kant Dubey
  • Vishal Tripathi
  • Ratna Prabha
  • Rajan Chaurasia
  • Dhananjaya Pratap Singh
  • Ch. Srinivasa Rao
  • Ali El-Keblawy
  • Purushothaman Chirakkuzhyil Abhilash
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science book series (BRIEFSENVIRONMENTAL)


Belowground microbial processes are at the helm of terrestrial ecosystem functions, and the enormous diversity of soil microorganisms acts as a key player. Thus, understanding the community dynamics of microorganisms in the soil is essential to know their distribution, abundance, and structure. Further, it is also important to know how these communities are shaped in structure and function in response to changes in space and time. Various microbial diversity analysis methods—fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms, and the automated version of ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, RISA (ARISA)—have been developed to analyse the diversity of soil microorganisms based on their genetic structure. However, methods such as phospholipid and fatty acid analysis utilise the differences in lipid components of the microbial cell membrane to analyse their diversity. In the present chapter, we explore the conventional methods of soil microbial diversity analysis.


Automated RISA (ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) Community dynamics Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rama Kant Dubey
    • 1
  • Vishal Tripathi
    • 1
  • Ratna Prabha
    • 2
  • Rajan Chaurasia
    • 1
  • Dhananjaya Pratap Singh
    • 3
  • Ch. Srinivasa Rao
    • 4
  • Ali El-Keblawy
    • 5
  • Purushothaman Chirakkuzhyil Abhilash
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environment & Sustainable DevelopmentBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekananda Technical UniversityBhilaiIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important MicroorganismsMau Nath BhanjanIndia
  4. 4.National Academy of Agricultural Research ManagementHyderabadIndia
  5. 5.Department of Applied BiologyUniversity of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates

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