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Latest Soil biology Stories

2009-06-23 09:34:05

An international collaboration of scientists has completed the genome sequencing of the Azotobacter vinelandii soil bacterium, U.S. researchers said. Scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Virginia Tech said the group's achievement uncovered important genetic information that will contribute to a more complete understanding of the biology of the soil-living bacterium. The work will also help advance research on A. vinelandii's role as a model study organism for investigation...

2009-04-14 10:31:20

U.S. entomologists say a careful choice of nitrogen-fixing bacteria might provide soybean farmers protection against an invasion of soybean aphids. Pennsylvania State University researchers said soybeans are legumes -- plants that can have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia and therefore do not need additional nitrogen fertilizer. Each type of legume -- peas, beans, lentils, alfalfa -- have their own rhizobia. Soybeans are from Asia and so there were...

2009-01-07 13:07:28

The French cheese Reblochon gets its distinctive flavor from a previously unknown group of bacteria, British university researchers report. Using genetic fingerprinting, the researchers identified eight previously undiscovered microbes in the soft, creamy, brie-like cheese made in France's Savoy mountain region, a study published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology said. It has always been thought the bacteria cheese makers were putting in at the start of...

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2008-11-14 13:55:00

Leads scientists to rethink ocean's carbon and nitrogen cycles An unusual microorganism discovered in the open ocean may force scientists to rethink their understanding of how carbon and nitrogen cycle through ocean ecosystems. A paper describing the new findings appears in the November 14 issue of the journal Science. A research team led by Jonathan Zehr, a marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, characterized the new microbe by analyzing its genetic material, even...

2008-10-29 15:00:23

U.S. scientists say they've determined earthworms can change the chemical nature of the carbon in North American forest litter and soils. Purdue University scientists, along with researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and Johns Hopkins University, studied the effect of earthworms on forest chemistry by comparing carbon composition in forests that vary in earthworm activity. They found forests with greater numbers of invasive earthworms tend to have litter and soil organic matter...

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2008-09-12 12:50:00

Researchers at Reading University have found that metal-munching earthworms can help plants to clean up contaminated soils. The team noticed that subtle changes occurred in metals as worms ingested and excreted soil, making it easier for plants to take up potentially toxic metals from contaminated land. Experts suggested at the British Association Science Festival in Liverpool that earthworms could be the future "21st Century eco-warriors". The UK has many areas with contaminated soil due to...

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2008-08-09 09:40:00

Scientists at the University of Sheffield have shown how bacteria could be used as a future fuel. The research, published in the journal Bioinformatics, could have significant implications for the environment and the way we produce sustainable fuels in the future. Like all living creatures, bacteria sustain themselves through their metabolism, a huge sequence of chemical reactions that transform nutrients into energy and waste. Using mathematical computer models, the Sheffield team have...

2008-08-08 12:00:15

Scientists at Britain's University of Sheffield say they've used mathematical computer models to show how bacteria might become a future source for fuels. The researchers mapped the metabolism of Nostoc, a bacterium that fixes nitrogen and, in doing so, releases hydrogen that can potentially be used as fuel. "The research uncovered a previously unknown link between the energy machinery of the Nostoc bacterium and its core nitrogen metabolism," said Guido Sanguinetti, a Sheffield lecturer...

2008-07-24 03:00:37

By Comis, Don Glomalin is a glycoprotein, a sugar-protein compound that might trigger the formation of soil. In a study at two Mandan, North Dakota, locations, Kristine Nichols, a microbiologist with the ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, found that soils under native grasses- switchgrass, blue grama, big bluestem, and indiangrass-have higher levels of glomalin than soils planted to nonnative grasses, such as Russian wildrye, intermediate wheatgrass, crested wheatgrass, and...

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2008-06-19 14:00:00

A team of scientists may have solved the riddle of why plants that work with bacteria to convert atmospheric nitrogen gas into an essential biological nutrient (ammonia) tend to prevail in the world's tropical regions rather than higher latitudes. In a paper published this week in Nature, the authors "“ including Dr Ying Ping Wang from The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research "“ say that nitrogen fixation has long been recognized as an important process in...