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Cementing the Role of a Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria

July 17th, 2012 | Posted by XiteBio in Uncategorized

old cracked concrete barrierSoil bacteria are frequently studied in the context of soil health and soil-plant-microbe interactions. But one known plant growth promoting bacterium has beneficial effects outside of growth promotion.

An innovative team at Northumbria University has found that Bacillus megaterium can be used to extend the life of concrete and even repair existing concrete. How this species of Bacillus is able to do this is remarkable.

A nutrient- rich solution of the bacteria is   either mixed in with new concrete or applied over the surface of old concrete. The bacteria grow throughout the pores in the concrete, producing calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate fills the pores in the concrete and keeps water and other damaging materials out.

It will be exciting to see what other innovative applications remain to be discovered for soil borne and plant growth promoting bacteria.

Image source: Dr. P.E. Grattan-Bellew – US Department of Transportation, Wikimedia Commons

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