FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

At Microbial ID, we strive to be your go-to source for fatty acid and soil microbial community analysis. We’re here to provide the most technologically advanced services available, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Click below to learn more about how Microbial ID can help you.

What types of testing are available?

We specialize in soil microbial community analysis, offering phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) and phospholipid fatty acid analysis plus neutral lipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA + NLFA). However, we also have 35 years of experience in whole-cell fatty acid (FAME) analysis in non-soil matrices, including bacteria and marine organisms. Please see our Services page for more information.

Do you help individuals with their garden soil?

While we appreciate your interest in our company, no, we do not. We specialize in soil microbial community analysis mainly for businesses, universities, and government agencies. If you are an individual looking for help with your soil at home, we recommend contacting your local agricultural extension service.

How do I submit a sample for testing?

Preparing your samples correctly is key to receiving fast and accurate results. Please see our Soil Shipping Instructions or ID Shipping Instructions page for step-by-step instructions, depending on your sample type or, click here to download our Domestic Soil Shipping Instructions or International Soil Shipping Instructions.

Note: If you are submitting fewer than 8 samples, please contact us first.

How much does testing cost?

Pricing varies, but we strive to provide the most cost-effective and reliable results available. See our Pricing page for more information and to get a quote.

Why is soil testing important?

PLFA analysis is a key measure of soil health, recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA/NRCS Soil Health Technical Note #450-03). PLFA and NLFA analysis allow us to measure the “living biomass,” broad microbial community structure, and the impact of environmental stress on soil nearly in real time. Results from our soil testing lab are useful for maintaining ecosystem health, improving crop productivity, and studying the effects of climate change on soil (to name just a few applications). Please see our Soil Microbial Analysis page for more information.

How long does it take to receive test results?

We aim to provide fast, reliable analysis of your samples. Turnaround times are highly dependent on the number of samples you submit, as well as your specific project. Please contact us for an accurate turnaround time related to your project.

What sets Microbial ID apart from other labs?

We’ve been a pioneer in fatty acid-based microbial identification since 1985. Today, we are the only service lab that performs NLFA. In fact, PLFA + NLFA is our main soil testing focus. Read more about how we can serve you here.

What if I still have questions?

Contact us! Our team of experts look forward to helping you with your soil microbial testing and other fatty acid analysis needs.