A Peek at Life Under a Wheat Field: Reflections from an LTER Fellow

MSU graduate researcher, Allison Zahorec, is a PhD student in Dr. Doug Landis’s lab in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University. Allison Zahorec holding a core of soil taken out of a wheat field at the LTER. Photo by Kurt Stepnitz. When one envisions a typical midwestern farm, ‘biodiversity’ is hardly the first thing that comes to mind. Compared to more natural landscapes, agricultural lands can seem like ecological dead zones. Yet even the most intensively managed corn monocultures are teeming with life belowground. A few teaspoons of soil can contain over a billion

Microbial Communities in Long Term Research: Reflections from a Field Season at KBS

Reid Longley is a PhD candidate in the MSU Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics. He is a member of the Bonito Lab. Reid wrote about his research at the KBS LTER, funded by a 2018 Summer Fellowships for Long-term Ecological Research.                   Performing my field research at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) this summer was the first time I had ever been exposed to work in agriculture. Before coming to Michigan State for my PhD studies, I had not thought much about the amount of science that goes into

Researchers conduct novel wheat microbiome analysis under four management strageties.

This is an original press release from American Phytopathological Society- Nov 27th, 2017 St. Paul, Minn. (November 2017)--Different crop management strategies can produce various and noticeable effects on a crop and its yield. But what are the effects at the microbial level...not just in the roots but the entire plant? Molecular biologists Kristi Gdanetz and Frances Trail of Michigan State University sought to answer that question, developing a descriptive analysis of the wheat microbiome under four common types of management strategies: conventional, no-till, organic, and reduced