Ryan, Nicole and I went on a trip to the Marshall Forest Preserve near Rome, GA. Lots of good mushrooms were growing. Next time we’ll attempt to bring them into sterile culture. This will allow us to cultivate and study a greater variety of mushrooms that there is available commercial mushroom spawn.
Both Ryan and I are interested in soil proteomics. Soil microbial communities are incredibly complex. They create habitats suitable for different plants and greatly effect growth and nutrition. Soil proteomics combines traditional approaches in soil microbiology and biochemistry with techniques in molecular microbial ecology. Soil proteomics is the study of the structures and functions of proteins in the metabolic pathways of soil. This is much more difficult than genomics because a cells proteins, or the cells proteome, changes over time and between cells. Soil proteomics are important because it can help us understand what cell pathways give rise to enzymes important in ecosystem processes. In turn, this knowledge could be used to engineer soils that can better bioremediate specific toxins like arsenic and petroleum oil hydrocarbons. Perhaps the nature preserve will allow us to set up a soil research station here? 🙂