soil microbes Tag

Related ATTRA publication: Reducing Tillage Intensity in Organic Production Systems A study by Penn State University is one of the first to link soil disturbance with negative human health effects. Researchers found that soil tillage may reduce the availability in crops of ergothioneine (ERGO), an amino acid produced by certain types of soil-borne fungi and bacteria that is known as a "longevity vitamin" due to its potent antioxidant properties. "Research suggests that a lack of ergothioneine in the diet may result in increased incidences of chronic diseases of aging, such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease, and reduced life expectancy," notes Robert...

Related ATTRA publication: Nutrient Cycling in Pastures Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have developed a custom microscope to image microbes in soil and plants at the micrometer scale. Live imaging of microbes in soil would help scientists understand how soil microbial processes occur on the scale of micrometers, where microbial cells interact with minerals, organic matter, plant roots, and other microorganisms. The approach the LLNL team developed enables a strong signal for general microbe, plant and mineral imaging; high contrast, label-free chemical imaging that can target diagnostic biomolecules and minerals; very strong signals from specific minerals and some biomolecules; and higher information...

Research published by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies explored how the combined stressors of rising temperatures and residual livestock antibiotics interact to affect soil microbial function. The research team found that heat and antibiotics disrupt soil microbial communities, degrading soil microbe efficiency, resilience to future stress, and ability to trap carbon. This research focused on the common livestock antibiotic Monensin, which is poorly metabolised and still active in the waste of treated livestock. With rising heat and antibiotic additions under laboratory conditions, soil bacteria populations collapsed, allowing fungi to dominate and homogenize, resulting in fewer total microbes and less...

While many people make conscious decisions about what foods they eat for health reasons, the same considerations are not often made for livestock. We rarely discuss how the variety of plants they eat affects their health, wellness, and nutrient density of their meat.
By Kara Kroeger, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...