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XiteBio / 24.07.2012

Rhizobacteria are bacteria that are found in soil. Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonise plant roots and stimulate plant growth. However, different bacteria do this in different ways.  Here are 6 ways that PGPR can lead to healthier plants and better yields: Nitrogen Fixation – Legumes form root nodules that contain symbiotic bacteria (Rhizobium species). Other crops can use nitrogen that is made available from non-symbiotic soil bacteria. Help in Nodulation – The complex process of nodulation requires many hormones and enzymes produced by a wide variety of soil microbes, not just...

XiteBio / 17.07.2012

Soil 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...

XiteBio / 10.07.2012

Legumes can supply their own nitrogen, provided that appropriate species of Rhizobium bacteria are present. This allows legumes to produce greater yields without additional nitrogen and also helps succeeding crops in the rotation. Checking root nodules for nitrogen fixation is a straight forward process:  Wait 4-6 weeks after planting. It takes this long for nodules to form and nitrogen fixation to begin.  Dig out some of the root nodules attached to the roots.  Slice the root nodules in half. Check the colour of the interior of the root nodules. A pink colour means...

XiteBio / 25.06.2012

The savannas surrounding the forests of the Amazon region of South America are undoubtedly challenging regions for agriculture. Long rainy seasons followed by prolonged dry periods create an annual cycle of flooding and nutrient leaching followed by drought. Yet in this difficult environment, sustainable agriculture flourished for nearly 300 years. Recently unearthed archaeological evidence of sustainable agricultural practices in pre-Columbian (1200 – 1492 A.D.) Amazonian savannas should have world-wide significance for several reasons: Ingenuity in the Face of Adversity To overcome the harsh environment, farmers developed a fire-free, raised-field approach that...