Research and Development Centre, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu -641046, India. Email:
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Department of Post Graduate Studies and Research in Botany, Sanatana Dharma College, Alappuzha, Kerala-688003, India.
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Biochar is a charcoal like substance produced from organic biomass after pyrolysis. Biochar act as a good soil conditioner by increasing microbial activities, soil nutrition and soil structure. Soil microorganisms are involved in litter decomposition and soil nutrient mineralization which is important in the sustainable development of plants and trees. The functioning of an ecosystem is controlled by biogeochemical cycles driven by microorganisms. The cell membrane of all microorganisms is composed of phospholipids that are easily metabolized after the cell death. Hence, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis of microorganisms can be used for the characterization of living microbial communities. PLFA analysis is a lipid based, culture independent biochemical technique. Therefore, PLFAs can be used for the characterization of soil microbial community structure that are not able to cultivated by the conventional methods. This profiling act as a biological register of soil health, and as an indicator of soil response to different field management systems like biochar.
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