Soil PLFA & NLFA Data Analysis

Complex Data Handling Expertise

Many different Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS) methods and instrument platforms are used for PLFA & NLFA analysis. However, most of these protocols require great expertise and time to interpret the complex data. In addition, one has to determine how to recognize and separate out background contamination from the microbial lipid information of interest.

At Microbial ID, we use a platform that we co-developed and one that has been optimized for soil PLFA & NLFA extraction and analysis. We have coupled a proven high throughput soil lipid extraction method to the well-established MIDI Sherlock™ PLFA Analysis System. Our protocol objectively names PLFAs & NLFAs, quantitates them with the appropriate internal standard, and provides customers with a detailed report of all fatty acids in the sample.

The Sherlock software algorithms even remove background contamination from the extraction process, leading to more accurate results. Our reports provide customers with the raw data, total microbial biomass (nmol/g), biomass of each fatty acid (nmol/g) and key biomass ratios (e.g. fungi:bacteria).

Sample Extraction
Sherlock PLFA Analysis System
Automated Analysis
Custom PLFA Reports


Microbial ID, Inc., 125 Sandy Drive, Newark, DE USA 19713

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