DDD Conference

Cyanobacterial Soil Amendment and Restoration

Convener: Nina Kamennaya, BGU

The global food security is pressured by multiple threats, such as constantly growing food demand, diminishing biodiversity, sea-level rise, soil impoverishment, and climate change-enhanced desertification. Recent experimental studies suggest that at least some of the soil-related threats can be mitigated using cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are fast-growing photosynthetic bacteria that utilize energy of the Sun to assimilate inorganic carbon, whereas diazotrophic strains can also assimilate atmospheric nitrogen. Because many strains of cyanobacteria tolerate extreme environmental stresses, such as high light, salinity, extreme fluctuations of temperature, and desiccation, they are easier to cultivate. Furthermore, these capacities make cyanobacteria suitable for applications in harsh environments, such as impoverished and salted agricultural soils, degraded pastures, polluted areas and drylands undergoing desertification. Contribution of cyanobacteria to the soil restoration effort is steadily growing owing to isolation and domestication of new strains, refinement of cultivation conditions, and new application methods and approaches. This session will focus on recent advances in soil restoration and improvement practices that involve cyanobacteria.

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