• Mimosa: albizia julibrissin Carbohydrates and long-chain fatty acids are excreted by plant cells in the peri-arbuscular interface and then acquired by fungal cells via specific transporters (MacLean et al., 2017, Choi et al., 2018). A promising strategy to enhance plant nutrition and thus plant performance is through the development of tripartite associations with bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi (Wu et al., 2005, Artursson et al., 2006; Bonfante and Anca, 2009, Giovannini et al., 2020). N transport, assimilation, and remobilization contribute to plant NUE (Hirel et al., 2007; Lea and Miflin, 2011), of which the two main components are N uptake efficiency (NupE) and N utilization efficiency (NutE) (Han et al., 2015; Li et al., 2017). Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Soil bacteria and fungi are encouraged by ground cover and organic matter inputs. If you find this intriguing, please do read on. Diverse populations of soil bacteria and fungi can suppress root diseases. Due to the limited success of such approaches in terms of agronomic applications, as well as the restrictions regarding the use of genetically modified plants in many countries and the growing importance of sustainable agriculture practices, research has been reoriented to evaluate the impact of beneficial microbes on plant N acquisition (Han et al., 2015; Tao et al., 2019). Plants of the family Fabaceae, otherwise known as the bean tribe of plans actually make the soil better by “fixing” nitrogen through root nodules. In particular, the use of synthetic inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizers has increased several fold during the past 50 years (Lassaletta et al., 2016; Pretty, 2018). The characterization of these bacteria is primarily based on the detection of nif gene sequences encoding Nase. This process ties up nutrients in the soil where they are less likely to leach out. Converting N2 to NH4+ is an energy-consuming process catalyzed by the multimeric enzyme Nase, which is known to be inhibited by oxygen (Fig. Diazotrophic bacteria associated with a symbiotic fungus can also contribute AMF and thus plant N acquisition. They include (i) capitalizing on the beneficial impact of microbes either individually or when they are present in tripartite associations; (ii) utilizing plant genetic deversity to select the most efficient interactions in terms of the acquisition of nutrients, N in particular; and (iii) developing agronomic practices such as no-till and those based on the use of cover crops that favor plant–microbe interactions (Hirel et al., 2011). At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. Thus, the use of beneficial microbes appears to be an attractive alternative to genetic engineering for the implementation of new breeding strategies, although they require several years of development before they can be validated and marketed. Minerals are then excreted by the fungal cells at the peri-arbuscular interface and taken up by plant cells. These proteins allow the transport of NH4+ to the different parts of the plant (Ludewig et al., 2007; Yuan et al., 2007; Tegeder and Masclaux-Daubresse, 2018). When I design permaculture food forest orchards, I like to plant jacaranda or mimosa in between the main orchard fruit trees for this purpose. Due to their ability to reduce N2 to NH4+, a form of N readily utilizable by the host plant, there is growing interest in determining the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying this plant–bacterial association (Rosenblueth et al., 2018). All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! All content rights reserved. Sawers RJH, Ramírez-Flores MR, Olalde-Portugal V, Paszkowski U. Sevilla M, Burris RH, Gunapala N, Kennedy C. Sharma SB, Sayyed RZ, Trivedi MH, Gobi TA. International Subscribers - Click Here This stimulating effect on spore production may be due to the presence of sugars secreted by the bacterium that enhance fungal growth until spores form. Please read on. It is now possible to conduct research on the nature and composition of plant microbiota with next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques. For instance, the AMT3.1 plant NH4+ transporter transcript is specifically up-regulated in cereals such as sorghum, maize, and rice colonized by AMF (Koegel et al., 2017). Further investigations are now needed to determine whether improved plant N acquisition is due to the transfer of N from the AMF or to an increase in N uptake triggered by the fungus, considering at the same time that the fungus and the plant can compete for limited resources (Makarov, 2019). Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant productivity, thus, it is abundantly applied to the soil in the form of organic or chemical fertilizers that have negative impacts on the environment. Beneficial bacteria for plants greatly enhance the health of the rhizosphere, which is a fancy term for the root zone. However, it’s a very time-consuming and complicated process — and if it’s not done right, you’ll not only be left with ineffective compost tea, but you’ll also have an extremely foul odor to deal with.