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In the often-overlooked realm of soil lies a bustling ecosystem teeming with microorganisms, where a mere teaspoon of soil houses more life than the entire human population on Earth. This intricate world is vital in maintaining soil fertility, influencing nutrient cycling, enhancing plant growth, and even breaking down toxic substances.

Microbial Abundance and Importance:

Delving into the microscopic universe, we find staggering numbers: a kilogram of fertile soil can host 500 billion bacteria, 10 billion actinomycetes, and 1 billion fungi. These microorganisms play a crucial role in soil fertility by cycling nutrients, improving structure, and supporting plant health. They also act as nature’s recyclers, breaking down toxic substances through enzymatic activities.

Factors Influencing Microbial Presence:

Various factors, such as temperature, humidity, oxygen levels, soil pH, nutrient availability, and management practices, influence the presence and activity of microorganisms in the soil. Temperature, in particular, plays a pivotal role in microbial development; at very low temperatures, the enzymatic activity of these organisms is reduced, and protein denaturation may occur at high temperatures. 

Humidity and oxygen concentrations also have an important role; in well-aerated soil, there will be greater energy production, a more significant population, and activity of microorganisms. For example, thiobacillus, vital in solubilisation, works more quickly under warm and moist conditions. Low temperatures slow the action of Thiobacillus bacteria.

Microbial Fertilisers and Their Role:

Microbial fertilisers contribute to soil and plant health, comprising bacteria, algae, fungi, and biological compounds. These microbes colonise the rhizosphere upon application, multiplying rapidly and producing trillions of beneficial organisms within a few days. These microbes can act as biological predators, producing antibiotics, enzymes against pathogens, and phytohormone production that benefit plant growth.

Microbial Benefits:

The advantages of soil microorganisms are multifaceted. They help control the spread of diseases through competition, antibiosis, parasitism, and resistance induction. These tiny life forms also play vital roles in nutrient mineralisation, phosphate solubilisation, and controlling soil salinity.

Microorganisms improve a plant’s ability to withstand environmental stresses like water scarcity by employing different mechanisms, such as producing substances that keep the roots hydrated.

Moreover, microorganisms aid in bioremediation, mitigating phytotoxicity and heavy metal contamination by metabolising these substances into inert forms. They enhance plant tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as water stress, through various mechanisms, including producing substances that hydrate roots.

Mycorrhizae – Nature’s Symbiotic Partners:

A significant player in the soil ecosystem is mycorrhizae, a mutualistic symbiosis between soil fungi and plant roots found in over 80% of vascular plants. This partnership enhances nutrient and water transfer, improves soil structure, and boosts plant vigour. Mycorrhizae secrete enzymes that break down nutrients, making them accessible to plants.

Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture:

Highlighting the potential of microbial products, such as Redox Bactivate 3-5 Liquid and Reox Bactivate Biocult, we witness how specific strains of bacteria contribute to better and healthier soil and enhance overall crop quality. These products demonstrate benefits like improved nutrient uptake, soil-bound nutrient solubilisation, and enhanced environmental stress resistance.

How can we help?

In the intricate dance of soil microorganisms and mycorrhizae, we discover a symphony of life that sustains the very foundation of our agricultural ecosystems. By understanding and harnessing the power of these microscopic wonders, we pave the way for sustainable and resilient agriculture, ensuring the health of our soils and the prosperity of future generations. 

Contact us today to explore how our microorganism solutions can contribute to your plant’s success. Your plants deserve the best; we’re here to help you achieve just that.

Article compiled by our Redox Agronomists 
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