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Apr 12 / 21 How Soil Microbes “Bio-mine” Minerals

There have been some questions around how beneficial soil probiotics are able to “bio-mine” locked up minerals in soils, so I thought I would provide a quick share. 

When microbes are stimulated through root exudates and other microbial stimulants, they produce several organic products such as metabolites1. These primary microbial metabolites, such as volatile fatty acids (VFA), organic acids, vitamins, and enzymes, are released into the soil matrix unlocking tied up nutrients by breaking the magnetic charge of organomineral compounds, otherwise known as mineralization2.  Once broken, these elemental nutrients are now bio-available to the plant. This process also assists with plant defence systems as it unlocks natural metals in the soil such as zinc, copper, iron, molybdenum, cobalt, and manganese3, which are naturally occurring plant immune system stimulants. 

  • 1)“Microbial Processes and Products,” 2005. doi:10.1385/1592598471 2) Whalen, Joann K. “Managing Soil Biota-Mediated Decomposition and Nutrient Mineralization in Sustainable Agroecosystems.” Advances in Agriculture 2014 (2014): 1–13. doi:10.1155/2014/384604 3) RENGEL, Z. Bioavailability of Phosphorus and Micronutrients in the Soil-Plant-Microbe Continuum. RC Soil Nutr. Veg. [on-line]. 2008, vol.8, special n. [Cited 2021-03-25], pp.84-91.

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