The Next Green Revolution May Rely on Microbes

"Ian Sanders wants to feed the world. A soft-spoken Brit, Sanders studies fungus genetics in a lab at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. But fear not, he’s not on a mad-scientist quest to get the world to eat protein pastes made from ground-up fungi. Still, he believes—he’s sure—that these microbes will be critical to meeting the world’s future food needs.

"Sanders’s eyes widen with delight and almost childlike glee when he talks about a microscopic life form called mycorrhizal fungus, his chosen lifetime research subject. Mycorrhizal fungi live in a tightly wound, mutually beneficial embrace with most plants on the planet. Years of dedication have made Sanders into one of the world’s foremost experts on the genetics of the microbe, and he recently was part of a team that sequenced the first mycorrhizal fungi genome."

Mycorrhizal fungi colonize the tip of a root, seen here under magnification.

A fascinating article about current research and growing interest in restoring fungi to soils damaged by plowing and use of chemicals. They finish on a note of encouragement and hope to be able to raise enough food for the growing population. 

"The scientists believe they’re on their way to achieving their goal of helping farmers grow more food, sustainably. Says Sanders, “We really have to be working extremely hard now to produce the technology that’s going to be used in 10, 15, 20 years’ time. Even if we have something that’s good now, we don’t stop. We have to go for something that’s much better.”

Tags: Mycorrhizal, fungi, research

Views: 20

Replies to This Discussion

Interesting article.  Good to know caring scientists are working to feed the world.  Just hope the profit only companies don't get control of it.

It's amazing the symbiotic relationships we're discovering that plants have with fungi and other organisms.

I can't help but relate it to my own garden.  This article reminded me once again that no-till gardening looks like the best way to go.  I've been disrupting the fungal colonies with my soil modifications, and probably causing other unknown negatives.  I'm thinking from now on, I should just keep good amounts of organic matter on top and let nature do the work.

Joan, thanks for posting this interesting article on fungi.   It's information like this that guides my gardening philosophy.  It falls under the "feed the soil, which feeds the plants."  Then the plants feed us.

 

I quit buying mycorrhizal inoculants.   I don't know if they help or not.  I figure at this point, growing without chemicals for 2 years and the place having been abandoned the year before, the soil is recovering and has its own microbiological ecosystem going.  Adding plant-based mulches must help too.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

Latest Activity

Freethinker31 replied to Joan Denoo's discussion How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology
7 minutes ago
Malcolm Grant Hutton replied to Malcolm Grant Hutton's discussion Impossible Numbers in the Bible in the group Christian Biblical Errancy Debate
8 minutes ago
Freethinker31 liked Joan Denoo's discussion How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology
9 minutes ago
Joseph P replied to Joe's discussion The IRS Says It Will Finally Enforce the Rules Barring Pastors from Endorsing Candidates from the Pulpit in the group Atheist News
14 minutes ago
Kelvin Hilerio replied to Joan Denoo's discussion How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology
19 minutes ago
Will-I Am S. replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
21 minutes ago
Freethinker31 replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
28 minutes ago
Loren Miller replied to Joe's discussion The IRS Says It Will Finally Enforce the Rules Barring Pastors from Endorsing Candidates from the Pulpit in the group Atheist News
28 minutes ago
Freethinker31 replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
30 minutes ago
Will-I Am S. replied to scott martins's discussion IS EVERYBODY 100% POSITIVE THERE IS NO GOD?
30 minutes ago
Michael Penn commented on WayneO's blog post And the Evening and the Morning Were the Fourth Day
31 minutes ago
Michael Penn replied to Joan Denoo's discussion How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology
36 minutes ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service