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  • 27-04-2022

The importance of microorganisms in the soil

There is a complex and dynamic ecosystem in the soil, where multiple organisms coexist and interact with each other, leading to various associations. Focusing on crops, plants build relationships with microorganisms in the rhizosphere. For the most part, these relationships are symbiotic, that is, this link allows the plants to nourish themselves more effectively and allows the microorganisms, in turn, to develop populations with large nutrient stores. All this interaction translates into a renewal and improvement of the soil characteristics.

In our planet we have a great diversity of soils and each one has a specific biodiversity, although they all have in common that the relationship of organic matter, structure and dynamics is due to the activity of microorganisms, which is mostly carried out from the soil surface to about 20 centimeters deep.

Microorganisms found in all soils have capacities, some studied and some still to be assessed, allowing them to improve the soil and promote plant growth. These intrinsic capacities are known as PGPR (“Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobateria”) activities .

Reference: Strains of microorganisms developed by Herogra Especiales.

 

What role do microorganisms play in the soil?

In agriculture, the capacity of microorganisms is not only based on the formation of aggregates and improvement of the physical part of the soil, but also on the biological and molecular part.

The main effects of the presence of microorganisms in the soil are:

  • Improved plant nutrition.
    • Microorganisms increase the source of nitrogen in the soil, or they can supply it directly to the plant, as they have the ability to take and set nitrogen from the atmosphere.
    • Thanks to microorganisms, there is an increase in the bioavailability of phosphorus in the soil. This is due to enzymatic activities and other components, which transform insoluble phosphorus into available forms for the plant.
    • Microorganisms, through the production of binders, such as siderophores, make iron available to the plant. Soil microorganisms transform iron in the soil into absorbable iron for the plant.
  • Enzymes and phytohormones output.
    • The microorganisms capacity to produce hormones, such as gibberellins, indole-acetic acid and butyric acid, make them good candidates to promote cell division and, therefore, elongation of the plan aerial and root parts.
    • Microorganisms produce enzymes, such as ACC deaminase, involved in inhibiting the synthesis of ethylene produced by stress.
  • Biocontrol

This field is still in the development stage, although the capacity of microorganisms to inhibit phytopathogens is known, either by producing antibiotics or other methods of antagonism.

 

Reference: Bishnoi 2015

 

How can we boost this activity in the soil?

In Herogra Especiales we use microbiology as one more application for crops. The development of the TOTEM® product by the R&D&I department of Herogra Especiales allows for all these vital activities mentioned above to be promoted in the soil.

TOTEM® improves microbial niches, plant nutrition and prevention against phytopathogens. In addition, TOTEM® renews the constant cycle of microbial activities, improving the quality of the soil and crops.

In short, the application of TOTEM® constantly transforms the soil into a healthy and profitable resource for crops and removes heavy metals and other residues generated by anthropogenic action.

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