Bacteria could recover soils impacted by fires
Three rapid growing and colonizing microorganisms were identified to potentially bio-recover soils of Tuluá, Cali, Jamundí and Yumbo, in the Province of Valle del Cauca.Palmira, 25 de mayo de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) in Palmira researchers identified two bacteria of the Bacillus genus (B. mycoides and B. megaterium) linked to phosphorus solubilization (making it available for plants to use it as a nutrient).
In order to identify these bacteria researchers carried out eight field trips and took samples in areas where there had been recent and not so recent fires near the municipalities of Santiago de Cali, Yumbo, Jamundí and Tuluá.
Soil samples were analyzed through physical, chemical, biological and molecular studies to identify the conditions of the samples. Once they identified different species of bacteria they were characterized at the molecular level by means of molecular sequencing and performing a morphological description of each of the bacteria.
Fires can reach temperatures between 100° and over 500° C (212°- 932° F) according to several factors such as vegetation combustibility,” said Adriana Martínez Arias, researcher linked to the UNal-Palmira project.
High temperatures modify soil structure deforming and volatizing soil elements which are important for plant growth and development, such as organic matter.
In this sense, bacteria play an important role in recovering soils by means of fixing nitrogen, as this element represents 78% of the total air in the environment and when it is incorporated into the soil enables plant growth.
During the project they also established that Burkholderia sp. specifically interacts with legume plant roots promoting protection against pathogens and forming nodules which fix atmospheric nitrogen in tropical grasses (Paspalum and Digitaria),” said Rubén Darío Rojas Pantoja, one of eight researchers linked to the research group comprised by other undergraduate and graduate students and masters and doctoral candidates.
Meanwhile Rhizobium sp., also reported as soil atmospheric nitrogen fixing agent has the capability to dissolve inorganic phosphate sources improving sprouting, root length and dry matter content and favoring plant growth.
This would be a potential alternative in face of intense forest fires produced in the Province of Valle del Cauca as consequence of the El Niño phenomenon, which has caused much damage in Colombia.
Precisely to assist in this situation UNal-Palmira entered an agreement with the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Valle del Cauca (CVC) entitled, “Support to forest fire risk management in Valle del Cauca”. The liaison officer for the CVC is Fabio Calero and for UNal, Agrarian Sciences PhD Jaime Eduardo Muñoz.
“We chose UNal because it has an interdisciplinary group which will enable us to take advantage of the research potential which is peculiar to the institution,” said Calero.
For this purpose Professor Muñoz of the Biological Diversity Group is heading the project entitled, “Determination of bioindicators which will show evolution of recovery of the soil quality based on space-temporal analysis methods in areas impacted by forest fires”.
“This is a topic which has been hardly researched in Colombia and where molecular biology may provide an important contribution to establish preservation and recovery strategies of soils impacted by forest fires,” said Rojas.(Por: Fin/HAA/MLA/APBL