Soil Microbiome, Earth’s ‘Living Skin,’ Under Threat from Climate Change; Novel Approach to Measuring Microbe Activity In Wetted Soil of Biocrusts Leads to Better Understanding of Vulnerability, Researchers Report


Using a novel method to detect microbial activity in biological soil crusts, or biocrusts, after they are wetted, a Penn State-led research team in a new study uncovered clues that will lead to a better understanding of the role microbes play in forming a living skin over many semi-arid ecosystems around the world. The tiny organisms--and the microbiomes they create--are threatened by climate change.  The researchers published their findings on June 26, 2023 in Frontiers of Microbiology. The open-access article is titled “BONCAT-FACS-Seq Reveals the Active Fraction of a Biocrust Community Undergoing a Wet-Up Event.”

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