Research at The Kolton Lab
Pioneering Studies in Soil Microbiome and Ecosystem Functionality
At the Kolton Lab, our research is anchored in a profound understanding of the soil microbiome and its critical role in ecosystem functioning. Led by Dr. Max Kolton, our team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev employs an integrative approach combining fieldwork, lab experiments, and advanced computational methods to explore the dynamic interplay between microorganisms and their environments, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions.
Core Research Areas
Environmental Metagenomics: We delve into the genetic makeup of microbial communities in diverse soil types. Our work involves decoding the DNA of soil samples to understand the microbial diversity and its functional capabilities in varying environmental conditions.
- Sustainable Agricultural Practices: A significant portion of our research is dedicated to developing sustainable agricultural practices. We explore how soil microorganisms can be harnessed to enhance crop productivity, combat plant diseases, and contribute to the sustainable management of agricultural landscapes.
- Soil Microbiome and Ecosystem Health: We are keenly focused on elucidating how the soil microbiome influences the health and productivity of ecosystems. Our research particularly emphasizes understanding the impact of human-induced changes, such as climate variations and soil contamination, on microbial community structure and function.
DNA Stable Isotope Probing (DNA-SIP): DNA-SIP is a pivotal technique in our research arsenal. It allows us to track the flow of nutrients within microbial communities, providing insights into the metabolic activities of soil microbes and their roles in nutrient cycling.
- Proteomics: Our research extends into the realm of proteomics, where we analyze the protein profiles of soil microbiomes. This approach helps us to understand how microbial communities adapt their protein expression in response to environmental stressors.
Ongoing Projects and Collaborations
Our lab is actively involved in several cutting-edge research projects. We collaborate with international scientists and local agriculturalists to translate our research findings into practical applications. These projects range from studying the impact of microplastic contamination in soils to investigating the adaptive mechanisms of soil microbes in arid environments.
Join Us in Our Research Journey
We are constantly exploring new frontiers in soil microbiology and ecosystem research. Our lab welcomes collaboration with researchers, students, and institutions who share our passion for understanding and protecting our planet’s delicate ecological balance.