April 10, 2016
Francisco Fontseca
The correlation between soil microorganisms and plant fertility management.
Soil is one of the most complex natural systems that exist on the planet, made up of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, etc).

Soil is one of the most complex natural systems that exist on the planet, made up of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, etc).

This is the potential wealth that other branches of science, for decades, have been and continue to be able to take advantage of.


Natural systems are a resource that has always been present, but rarely accounted for.

Many of the antibiotics used today are from microorganisms found in soil discovered in the first half of the twentieth century. (Ex. Penicillin, Streptomycin). In the science journal, Nature ( January 7, 2015) reports that after several decades of looking for new antibiotics that do not generate resistance, they have found a bacterium that lives and can only be reproduced and isolated from soil. There is a significant amount of potential within agriculture to generate soil microorganisms that still remains unexplored. This is required in order to improve soil fertility, plant nutrition and crop phytosanitary conditions. It is increasingly clear that plant growth is strongly influenced by soil microorganisms and for the plants living around the roots, referred to as the rhizosphere area. These benefits are not exclusive to organic farming, but rather all agriculture. It may seem complicated, however improvements in our knowledge about microorganisms is not difficult or expensive. The periodic contributions of composted organic matter, implementation and cover crop management (grasses, legumes, flowering plants, etc), reduction of areas in which the herbicides are applied, and the adjustment of both the amounts and the dates of application of fertilizers are some of the examples necessary for improvement. Also, in Fertirrigation systems, the organic acid can be added to the irrigation water obtained from the fermentation of the by-products from the harvest. The would include, carbohydrates (sugars), residues of the wine or beer manufacturing process and/or hydrolyzed proteins. These products usually promote and improve the soil microflora and fauna and the associated biological and biochemical processes. There is the possibility of discovering, like the discovered new types of antibiotics, biocatalysts and bioactive compounds produced by the microorganisms in the soil that could stimulate the growth of plants and make them more productive. This could result in the plants becoming more resistant to various stress conditions, either biotic or abiotic. Thus, making it possible to improve the efficiency of fertilizers and shorten the metabolic process of nutrients. The potential is significant in the improvement of the agricultural sector.      

Article by courtesy of AKIS International