Microscopic benefactors - more than nitrogen: Observations from field samples and trials showing increases in grain size, resistance to pathogens

Tabin L. L. Brooks, Nicholas Harrison

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Soil quality indicators have often been limited to the chemical and physical components of soil, due to difficulties surrounding the analysis of microbiological diversity, which include the high diversity found in soil, as well as challenges in lab-based culture mechanisms (Bünemann et al., 2018). Novel techniques to allow for isolation of soil microorganisms were developed by Brooks, (2017) to detect rarer and slower growing microorganisms in the soil. Novel metabolites were characterised by Gurusinghe et al., (2019) from organisms isolated using this method, showing that the maintenance of overall diversity of the soil provides great potential in the realms of drug discovery (Piddock, 2015) and in the isolation of compounds that may provide plant growth promoting effects (Çakmakçi et al., 2006; Kumar et al., 2016), bioremediation possibilities (Ruiu, 2013; Luo et al., 2014), or increasing the general nutrient profile of the soil. The work detailed in this article is an overview of some promising results in this sphere – the increase in grain size through bacterial inoculation during the growth of wheat plants at a test site in Lake Cargelligo, NSW, as well as the isolation of a bacterial species from a wheat crop in Wagga Wagga, NSW producing an exudate which experimentally acts as an oomycete filament forming inhibitor. The identification of bacterial diversity can also highlight and remediate other potential issues, such as the influence of an Alternaria species on the root development of a wheat crop noted (also in Lake Cargelligo, NSW). Whilst these are all promising results, they indicate a pathway for further research and the synthesis of microbiology and agronomy
to enhance crop performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Australian Agronomy Conference, 2022
EditorsBell L., Bhagirath C.
Place of PublicationToowoomba, Qld
PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event20th Australian Agronomy Conference - Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, Australia
Duration: 18 Sep 202222 Sep 2022
https://www.agronomyaustraliaproceedings.org/index.php/2022 (Proceedings)
https://az659834.vo.msecnd.net/eventsairseasiaprod/production-expertevents-public/8313fc094e3043ceadc259e62364da10 (Program)


Conference20th Australian Agronomy Conference
Abbreviated titleSystem solutions for complex problems
OtherThe theme of the conference is System Solutions for Complex Problems. The theme underpins the need to strengthen collaborations between practitioners and researchers from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds to address increasingly complex problems and uncertainties. So, the question is not If, but when and how, multidisciplinary collaborations will be developed.
The 20th Australian Agronomy Conference will feature leading international and national speakers addressing issues such as the need to foster soil biology for enduring profitability, carbon sequestration, herbicide resistance, and the interwoven relationships between food production, energy and the environment. We will discuss and share our latest research findings amongst circa 300 agronomists from Australia and the world, as well as farmers, consultants, agribusinesses and farmer peak bodies.
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