Oct 072013
 

1980

Could boost the yield of economically important varieties such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber by 10% to 15%

Uzbek microbiologist Dilfuza Egamberdieva, group leader at the National University of Uzbekistan, at Tashkent, has isolated salt-tolerant bacterial strains that live in salt-degraded soils, where they help the rooting process in plants. After the selection of potentially root-colonizing bacteria, she has tested them in experimental settings on plants’ roots, obtaining 10-15% yields increase. She hopes to apply her technique soon, in Uzbekistan, to boost the yield of economically important varieties such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber.

Egamberdieva has been invited to present her results at the TWAS’s 24th General Meeting in Buenos Aires, where she has been awarded one of the TWAS Prizes that carries a cash award of US$15,000.

TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries, headquartered in Trieste, Italy, was founded by Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam. This year the Academy celebrates its 30th anniversary at its conference in Buenos Aires.

More than 2.6 billion people in the world rely on agriculture, but around 52% of the land used for this scope shows soil degradation. Land impoverishment is often due to salt infiltrations in the ground, which weaken the plants and lower the yield. Salt inhibits “nodulation”, the development of tiny nodules on plants’ roots, where nitrogen fixation occurs. Nitrogen is a critical element limiting plant growth, and specific bacteria convert the atmospheric nitrogen absorbed by plants into a more usable form (ammonia).

Uzbekistan has 4,4 million hectares to use for agricultural purposes, but more than half are under-productive, due to excessive saline content from the Aral Sea basin.

Egamberdieva has been studying soil bacterial communities for more than 10 years. She has noticed that salty soils discourage bacterial growth, and stress plants at the same time. In addition, as she has repeatedly proven, salty soils often host bacteria that are noxious for humans.

In her investigation, Egamberdieva has spotted beneficial soil salt-resistant bacteria that help plants grow better, causing no harm to men. These bacteria are found around the roots of plants. “We found that bacteria from the Pseudomonas family, in particular Pseudomonas extremorientalis, are salt-resistant and grow close to the roots, where they compete with other bacteria for colonization. On the contrary, pathogenic bacteria cannot actively colonize the plants’ roots. Here, Pseudomonas produce antibiotics that plants use to defend themselves against fungi, trigger the rooting process and produce nodulation-promoting factors, thus giving the vegetation better chances to fix nitrogen and grow bigger”. As an exchange for these favours, plants secrete exudates useful for the bacteria.

To better exploit these useful bacterial strains, the Uzbek microbiologist has come up with a technique that allows the selective enrichment of Pseudomonas strains. Using her technique, which has already been patented, Egamberdieva is able to isolate from the soil only beneficial root-stimulating bacteria.

Read more . . .

 

The Latest on: Salt-degraded soils
  • Surprise pair seeks to fight salinity
    on May 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    To tackle salt, degraded rivers, animal and plant extinctions and soil erosion and acidity, it calls for the planting of 40 billion trees. When it comes to the $65 billion price tag for this and other programs, the NFF and the ACF maintain that $37 billion ... […]

  • Can Solar Thermal Desalination Make Sustainable Agriculture Possible?
    on December 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    The jury is still out on solar thermal, which is certainly efficient but has its critics because of its costs, both financial and ecological. The International Energy Association (IEA) is still bullish about its future, and projects such as the Solana ... […]

  • Salt is ruining Earth's soil: Poor drainage systems are reducing crop yields and could lead to food shortages in 2050, study claims
    on October 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Salt is damaging crop-growing soil around the world and it could lead to a shortage of food by 2050. That's according to a UN study that says 7.7 square miles (19.9 square km) of irrigated land has been lost every day for 20 years due to salt degradation. […]

  • Salt Is Turning Farmland Into Wasteland Around the World
    on October 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Without proper drainage systems, the salt can then accumulate in soil whenever water evaporates and leaves it behind, or plants suck out the 'pure water' and leave salt concentrated in the root zone. Once enough salt accumulates, it can cause a host of pro ... […]

  • Salt invasion in Indo-Gangetic basin has led to 40% increase in human health problems: UN
    on October 28, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Employment losses could be 50-80 man-days per hectare, with an estimate 20-40% increase in human health problems and 15-50% increase in animal health problems in India's Indo-Gangetic Basin. Scientists have now confirmed that salt-spoiled soils worldwide ... […]

  • Now, an app for car-sharing
    on October 28, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Car sharing in Colombia is becoming easier with an app created by the Fuimonos company that can be used on computers and smart phones, helping offer and hire rides around Bogota. Bogota: Car sharing in Colombia is becoming easier with an app created by the ... […]

  • Salt-degraded farm soil now equals the size of France
    on October 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Toronto, Oct 28 (IANS) Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries, including in India, has been degraded by salt, a research has found. Today, an area the size of France ... […]

  • Salt-degraded farm soil now equals the size of France
    on October 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Toronto, Oct 28 (IANS) Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries, including in India, has been degraded by salt, a research has found. Today, an area the size of France ... […]

  • Salt-degraded farm soil now equals the size of France
    on October 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Toronto, Oct 28 (IANS) Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries, including in India, has been degraded by salt, a research has found. Today, an area the size of France ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: