A High Throughput Soil Lipid Extraction Method
Soil lipid analysis is traditionally a time-consuming process and typically requires a large volume of reagents and a high amount of labor. A traditional PLFA analysis (not including NLFA) takes 1.5–3.0 days to prepare a small batch (i.e. 20–24 samples and blanks), depending on the exact equipment employed in each laboratory. The extraction requires considerable experience and contamination is a potential major issue that needs to be minimized.
Microbial ID's service lab uses a high throughput PLFA extraction method that was co-developed by our sister company, MIDI, Inc. (Newark, DE USA) and the USDA-ARS Sustainable Agriculture Systems Laboratory (Beltsville, MD USA), to isolate and analyze PLFAs and NLFAs. The high throughput method yields a 400% increase in throughput and 10-fold reduction in reagent use vs. traditional PLFA & NLFA extraction methods. In addition to efficiency improvements, the high-throughput results are equivalent to traditional methods.