22
Thu, Feb

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

Typography

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Phosphorus is a critical nutrient for global biological processes, such as collecting the sun’s energy during photosynthesis and degrading plant debris and soil organic matter. Most tropical ecosystems endure long-term weathering that leaches phosphorus from soil.

The ORNL-led team set out to discover how soil microbial communities respond to the lack of phosphorus and other nutrient deficiencies at the molecular level.

They collected soil samples at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama, an experimental field site with phosphorus-rich plots and unfertilized control plots.

 

Continue reading at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Image via Oak Ridge National Laboratory.