Date of Submission

Fall 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Biology

Project Advisor 1

Dr. Brooke Jude

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Contemporary farming practices are unsustainable and unrealistic means of feeding a rapidly growing human population. The adoption of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have wreaked havoc upon soil quality; decimating soil microbial communities and dramatically altering soil nutrient composition (Yadav et al, 2018). The largely monocrop-based agricultural systems employed throughout the United States and other major food-production countries have exacerbated such issues (Pollan, 2001). As a result, millions of hectares of farmland are annually inundated with compounds hazardous to the health of humans and wildlife, as well as deleterious to the integrity of soil-dwelling and rhizospheric microbial communities (Rigby et al, 2001). The importance of diverse microbial communities is known to have positive impacts on plant productivity, and the naturally-occurring phenomena provided by these microbes have the potential to be extremely beneficial to agricultural operations (Yadav et al, 2019). The inoculation of Glycine max (soybean) with symbiotic rhizospheric bacillus Bradyrhizobium japonicum has been shown to positively affect the ability of G. max to fix nitrogen and nitrogenous compounds, which in turn improves G. max productivity and yield (Zimmer et al, 2016). Other members of soil-dwelling microbial communities are also able to alter the amount of nitrogen available to plants, namely the denitrifying Janthinobacterium genus, whose possible uses in agricultural settings have not been previously studied. This experiment sought to explore the effects of the co-inoculation of G. max with both novel inoculant Janthinobacterium and known symbiote Bradyrhizobium japonicum in a low nitrogen environment. The results of this study point toward the varying influence that denitrifying microbes and nitrogen stress has on nutrient allocation toward varying structural components (roots, shoots) of G. max seedlings. The future implications of this study fall within the realm of sustainable food production, and its results provide insight regarding the possible applications of plant growth promoting microbes in agricultural operations.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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