Soil Pathogen Mapping
You’ve probably heard of soil maps and vegetation maps, but in the future could we actually see maps of the biology of the soil. Researchers in Australia have made strides of mapping soilborne pathogens using DNA sequencing. Dr McKay is the Leader of the Soil Biology and Molecular Diagnostics group at the South Australian Research and Development Institute.
McKay... “Essentially we're screening the roots using DNA technologies. We've got some qPCR tests we can run fairly quickly and we've got our next gen sequencing method that takes realistically two or three months to turn those results around. But we're optimizing that to pick up pathogens that we don't have qPCR tests for, and that's been really interesting. So what we've essentially got now we've sampled 850 paddocks over two years. We've got a pretty large collection of samples. We've only, just now completed the bulk of the sequencing and the sequences have been assigned to the sort of a putative 400 species. And we've now set that up so we can map those results across the country. And that's pretty exciting. So this, this data set is so large. You can't look at it and get a sense of what's going on.”
For more details, listen to Dr. McKay’s full episode on the Growing Pulse Crops podcast on any podcast platform.