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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 690; doi:10.3390/su9050690

Evaluation of the Microbial Viability of Soil Samples from Maize Crops in Freeze-Storage under Different Management Conditions in a Semi-Arid Climate

Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda de Elvas, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
Área de Edafología y Química Agrícola, Facultad de Ciencias and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda de Elvas s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
Área de Producción Vegetal (Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias) and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, Ctra. de Cáceres, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre, Escola Superior Agrária de Elvas, Apartado 254, 7350 Elvas, Portugal
Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, LEAF, Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
CIEO—Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jennifer Reeve
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1437 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]   |  


The effect of freeze-storage on culturable soil microorganism viability was determined for soil samples from three agricultural maize crop systems (under conventional management, direct seeding, and direct seeding with a cover crop). Most culturable soil bacteria were unaffected by the freeze-thaw stress or the prolonged freeze-storage, but the viability of mold and Bacillus mycoides populations decreased drastically after eight months of freeze-storage, limiting the process sustainability to this period. However, these changes did not significantly affect either the total microorganism biodiversity index or the biodiversity differences between treatment. Based on the available results, freeze-storage seems to be a sustainable process for up to eight months that can be allowed in analyses of culturable microbial population biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial viability; maize crop soil; freeze-storage; conservation management microbial viability; maize crop soil; freeze-storage; conservation management

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramírez, M.; Muñoz, A.; López-Piñeiro, A.; Albarrán, Á.; Peña, D.; Nunes, J.M.R.; Gama, J.; Loures, L. Evaluation of the Microbial Viability of Soil Samples from Maize Crops in Freeze-Storage under Different Management Conditions in a Semi-Arid Climate. Sustainability 2017, 9, 690.

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