Tag Archives: Soil microbiology

Specific Plant Benefits Provided by Beneficial Soil Bacteria

 Beneficial Soil Bacteria

Beneficial soil bacteria cause a number of specific plant benefits. These benefits include; larger, healthier roots, nutrient processing, and secretion of plant growth regulating substances. This post will discuss each of these plant benefits in more detail.

Beneficial Soil Bacteria Help grow Larger, Healthier Roots

There are a number of bacteria that help promote plant growth and they are sometimes beneficial soil bacteriacalled Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGBR). PGBR are defined as rhizospere inhabiting bacteria that have a positive effect on plant growth and plant health. There are several genera that are considered PGPR including, Bacillus, Azospirillum, and Pseudomonas.

Beneficial soil bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium, produce a class of chemicals called cytokinins. These cytokinins impact roots by overproduction of root hairs and and lateral roots. This, in turn, provides the plant with an increased ability to take up water and nutrients. So, as expected, a larger healthier root system provides for a healthier plant.

Enhanced Nutrient Processing

Bacteria process a wide variety of chemicals. Often times taking in inorganic compounds and metabolizing them into organic compounds. The bacteria need phosphate for DNA and RNA synthesis and for production of ATP. The benefit to the plant of this processing is the conversion of the phosphate from an insoluble form to a soluble one. Since insoluble phosphate is inaccessible to the plant, this processing by bacteria is invaluable to the plant.

Bacteria Produce and Secrete plant Growth Regulating Compounds

Along with the cytokinins, mentioned earlier, bacteria produce a number of beneficial growth compounds  that convey a plant benefit. These include plant hormones (sometimes called phytohormones) and  auxins. Together phytohormones, cytokinins, and auxins regulate plant growth, root size, and fruit formation. Ultimately, its the beneficial bacteria that either produce these compounds or induce the plant to produce these compounds.

Custom Biologicals manufactures a wide variety of biological products for use in environmental applications. Our agricultural products include Custom B5, a blend of 5 beneficial soil bacteria that convey the specific plant benefits mentioned above. Contact Custom for more information. 

Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria

Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria

 

Great review article about plant growth promoting bacteria. The link, citation, and author are below. The author believes, as I do, that in the not to distant future, plant growth promoting bacteria, PGPB, will begin to replace chemicals used in agriculture, horticulture,

plant growth promoting bacteria

Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria

environmental cleanup strategies, and even in home gardening. This change will not be a one size fits all solution, and no doubt some new technologies and application strategies will need to be employed.

Some of the key points:

  • In healthy soils, there are 108 to 10bacteria per gram but in stressed soils this number greatly decreases to as low as 104 bacteria per gram.
  • A number of different bacterial species are currently used in agriculture; however plant growth promoting bacteria are only used on a small fraction of available crops.
  • Bacteria are used for:
    • Nitrogen fixation
    • Phosphate Solubilization
    • Sequestering Iron
    • Producing Phytohormones
    • Producing Gibberellins,  Cytokinins,  Indoleacetic Acid, and Etylene
  • Bacteria affect plants in indirect ways like through competitive exclusion, and modulating the effects of stress.

The conclusion of the article is that the use of bacteria in agriculture has come of age. Taking advantage of microbe-plant interactions will be the future of agriculture. Additional studies will be needed, however, the commercial use of plant growth promoting bacteria will be more prevalent in the coming years.

 

 

Scientifica
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 963401, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.6064/2012/963401
Review Article

Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria: Mechanisms and Applications

Bernard R. Glick

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2012/963401/

 

Custom Biologicals, Inc.  manufactures a number of microbial products with plant growth promoting bacteria (PBPG). These biofertilizers contain both beneficial soil bacteria and beneficial Trichoderma fungi. Distributor inquires, both domestic and international are always welcome. Private formulations and protected areas are available. Contact Custom at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Bill@Custombio.biz.

 

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Soil Quality using Management Practices

Soil Quality using Management Practices

Soil quality is the most important factor for long term agricultural productivity . A good soil manager will monitor the organic content of the soil, water holding capacity, and a host of other soil quality parameters that are discussed in detail in the article below. 

Soil quality also relies on the diversity of beneficial soil microorganisms.

Wise management practices could improve soil quality

 

Surface soil produces our food and is vital for life. This precious resource often is called “skin of the Earth” and, just as skin, it is important to protect and maintain its quality.

Soil quality is the inherent capacity of a particular soil to support human health and habitation; maintain or enhance air and water quality; and, most important, sustain plant and animal productivity.

From an agricultural standpoint, soil quality is vital for improving long-term agricultural productivity and maximizing profits through sustainable productivity.

It is important for soil both to function optimally for current needs and remain healthy for future use. Soil organic matter, tillage, soil compaction, soil structure, depth of soil, water-holding capacity, electrical conductivity, pH, ground cover, microbial biodiversity, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and nutrient management are some of the important parameters of soil quality.

Improving and maintaining soil organic matter content is the most important quality parameter. Increasing organic matter improves soil structure as well as water- and nutrient-holding capacity, supports soil microbes, and protects soil from erosion and compaction. Organic matter can be improved by using no-till or minimum till methods, growing cover crops, leaving crop residues and using rotations with crops that balance optimal water and nutrient management practices.

Using reduced tillage practices will protect the soil surface, which decreases soil erosion and soil compaction, and decreases the loss of organic matter. Reduction in tillage also decreases the potential for destroying soil structure. Soil compaction can be caused by using heavy equipment on the surface when the soil is wet. Compaction will reduce the amount of air, water and pore space for growth of both soil microbes and plant roots. Soil compaction can be reduced by minimizing equipment use when the ground is wet and combining multiple farm tasks, such as applying both herbicides and fertilizer in one trip.

Growing cover crops and leaving residue from previous crops is the best way to reduce soil erosion by wind and water. Ground cover can be increased by growing perennial crops such as grasses in a pasture situation. Ground cover will improve water availability, but care should be taken to manage it properly to prevent disease outbreak.

Soil quality also relies on microbial organisms. Diversity in soil microbes may be helpful in controlling pest populations, diseases and weeds. Biodiversity can be achieved by increasing long-term crop rotations, since each plant in rotation contributes to unique soil structure and plant residue.

Understanding how to improve soil quality is aided by knowledge of the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio for managing cover crops and nutrient cycling.

The C:N ratio is the amount of carbon to the amount of nitrogen in a residue or other organic material applied to soil. If material with a higher C:N ratio residue is applied, it takes longer to decompose and may immobilize inorganic fertilizers that are applied. This problem can be reduced by growing a low C:N ratio crop (e.g., vetch or other legumes) in rotation with a high C:N ratio crop (e.g., wheat straw).

Finally, efficient nutrient management is important in maintaining soil quality. Test your soils regularly and make sure that you store all your records. Examining records over time will tell whether the management practices that were followed increased or depleted soil nutrients. Too much fertilizer or manure may cause groundwater contamination or may run off and enter water bodies and degrade water quality. Application of nutrients based on a soil test will alleviate this problem.

What works on one farm may not work on another. Adjust your management plan by observing changes in soil quality on your farm. Wise management decisions will improve the overall quality of the soil. Being proactive, rather than reactive, will make you a better steward of this limited resource.

 

 

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What Does it Mean – Living Soils?

Living Soils

What Does it Mean?

Living soils are simply the portion of the soil that is composed of living microorganisms. To have truly health soil the soil must contain a variety of microorganisms. So, healthy soils means far more  than just the absence of disease. Healthy soil means that soil contains all of the necessary microorganisms to create a balanced micro food web for the plants. While plants vary in their need for different microorganisms, the constant factor is the need for a vibrant mix of soil microbiology to have healthy, living soils.

There are three main types of soil microorganisms that we’ll discuss in this post; bacteria, fungi, protozoa.

 

Beneficial Soil Bacteria 

Bacteria are prokaryotic, single celled microorganisms. Bacteria, Living soilsthrough their ability to produce a wide variety of enzymes, are vital for recycling nutrients in the soil. Bacteria produce so many enzymes that they are sometimes thought of as enzyme factories. There are thousands of species of bacteria and they are among the oldest organisms on earth. Ecologically, many bacteria are classified as decomposers. That is organisms that “feed” on dead organisms and recycling their nutrients. Additionally, bacteria bind several compounds to the soil, including nitrogen,  so that they will not leach out of the soil. 

Beneficial Soil Fungi 

Fungi are a form of microorganism that create several benefits to living soils. Fungi tend to hold soil together and thus improve soil structure. Beneficial soil fungi consume some of the harder to digest materials such as the cellulose found in leaves and tree trunks. Fungi can have a symbiotic, mutually beneficial, relationship with plants. This mycorrhizal relationship allows some beneficial fungi to transfer vital nutrients directly to the plant roots. It is important to note that whole many soil fungi are beneficial, there are also disease causing, pathogenic, fungi as well.

Protozoa

Protozoa include a number of microorganisms many of which consume soil bacteria. As a part of the soil micro food web, protozoa consume bacteria releasing the excess nutrients in a soluble form. It is this soluble form of the nutrients that is utilized by the plant roots. All the organisms we’ve discussed, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, also help build micro air passages that allow air, water, and nutrients to move through the soil to the roots.

So living soils means having a healthy mix of beneficial soil microorganisms. Like most things, balance is the key.

Custom Biologicals is interested in helping you maintain your living soils. Custom GP and Custom B5 contain beneficial soil microorganisms intended to help your plants. Contact Custom for more information.

 

 

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Biological Soil Amendments

buy Trichoderma

Biological Soil Amendments for Enhanced Soil Productivity

Biological Soil Amendments

Custom B5 and Custom GP biological soil amendments are scientifically formulated to restore soil productivity an promote plant growth. The are perfect for food crops, turf, trees, and ornamental flowers and shrubs. Custom B5 and Custom GP are equally effective when soil amendmentsused by commercial farms and backyard gardeners.

It is well known that fertile soils contain a large number of beneficial microorganisms. These microbes process fertilizers (N,P,K) making essential nutrients and minerals available to plants. They also digest thatch and other organic matter, releasing additional nutrients into the soil.

Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, other chemicals, and over farming can greatly diminish a soil’s natural population of beneficial microbes. This reduces the soil’s ability to support turf, crops, and other vegetation.

Custom B5 and Custom GP biological soil amendments improve conditions by restoring a soil’s natural microbial population. Their use will increase nutrient availability, enhance root mass development and promote vigorous plant growth.

Soil Amendments of Custom Biologicals

Custom GP – is a blend of 4 Trichoderma beneficial fungi

Custom B5 – is a blend of 5 beneficial Bacillus bacteria.

Custom GP and Custom B5 can be used independently or combined for maximum benefit. Both biological soil amendments are OMRI listed.

Regular use of Custom B5 and Custom GP will:

  • Create a more fertile soil by restoring natural microbial populations. 
  • Promotes vigorous plant growth leading to a significant increase in crop yield
  • Maximizes the benefits of your current fertilizer program by making nutrients more readily available
  • Provides Beneficial Soil Microbes
  • Improves Soil productivity
  • Promotes Plant Growth
  • All Natural, Safe Formulations
  • OMRI listed
  • Increases root mass – increases plant growth – increases crop yield

Custom GP and Custom B5 are biological soil amendments manufacture and distributed by Custom Biologicals. Custom manufactures a wide variety of biological products for use in the agricultural industry. Distributor/Dealer inquiries are welcome

Contact Custom Biologicals at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Email Bill