With incorporating different approaches and techniques, we analyze the necessary parameters for growers who are willing to obtain healthy soil and healthy plants. In the same time, we are trying to quantify the microbiology situation of healthy, sustainable soil.
The PHC lab offers soil and plant-related analyses to assess the biological situation of soil, and the mycorrhiza colonization of plants and roots. By combining test results and the actual situation, our advisors give precise fertilization advice for growers, to enhance plant health and productivity.
A colonization rate analysis is used to determine whether there is mycorrhizal activity within a root sample. If that’s the case, we determine the amount of activity based on a standard developed by PHC. This standard is used to determine whether the mycorrhizal fungi are usefull in increasing the plant nutrition levels and therefore improving the health of the plant.
This analysis is performed by treating a set amount of root fragments and observing them under a microscope. The observation is then put into a formula which calculates the rate of colonization, whether arbuscular mycorrhiza is present and in which concentration. This result is implemented in a report and a total score is given, which is used to evaluate the different mycorrhizal conditions in the soil.
Chromatography is used to assess a soil on various aspects, such as the conversion of organic matter to humus, soil life conditions and air/water-holding capacity. A certain amount of the soil is dried, weighed and treated after which it can further develop in our lab.
After a set amount of days, the chromatography has developed, and the analysis can be performed. Combined with a chemical analysis of the soil, our advisors can assess the soil conditions of our clients and give customized advice.
Glomalin is a glycoprotein secreted by external hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Glomalin stays in the soil and mycorrhizal hyphae. It stores protein molecules and carbohydrate molecules. As a supplement of soil organic matter, glomalin plays a very important role in the stability of soil aggregation. It acts like glue to improve soil micro aggregate and prevents the soil from water and wind erosion.
As mycorrhizal fungi influence directly and indirectly on soil carbon fixation, glomalin also contributes significantly on accumulation and storage of soil organic carbon (SOC). The glomalin analysis extracts glomalin from a soil sample and measures the level of the contents. In comparison with mycorrhiza fungi colonization rate, we can determine the biological potential of soil, soil fertility and fertilizer application ratio.