A causal model of compost-soil-plant interactions for sustainable agriculture

April 12, 2023

Exploring the possibility of farming without chemical fertilizers and agrochemicals using thermophilic bacteria

The collaborative research group, including the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, the RIKEN BioResource Research Center, the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics, the RIKEN CSRS, Chiba University, Kanazawa University, Fukushima University, and Kitasato University, has successfully built a model of compost-soil-plant interactions.

Solving global food shortages requires sustainable agricultural technologies to enhance crop production and nutritional value without using chemical nitrogen fertilizers and agrochemicals.

In this collaborative study, the research group used structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate the mechanism of action of compost fermented with thermophilic bacteria on soil and plants. Based on the estimates, they isolated candidates for soil symbiotic bacteria, the genus Paenibacillus, analyzed their genome, and evaluated their biological activity. The results showed that the symbiotic system of these soil bacteria could facilitate the efficient use of nitrogen in the air without chemical fertilizers and reduce the emission of one of the greenhouse gases, dinitrogen monoxide (N2O), from the soil.

The results of this study would contribute to promoting sustainable agriculture.

Original article
ISME Communications doi:10.1038/s43705-023-00233-9
H. Miyamoto, K. Shigeta, W. Suda, Y. Ichihashi, N. Nihei, M. Matsuura, A. Tsuboi, N. Tominaga, M. Aono, M.Sato, S. Taguchi, T. Nakaguma, N. Tsuji, C. Ishii, T. Matsushita, C. Shindo, T. Ito, T. Kato, A. Kurotani, H. Shima, S. Moriya, S. Wada, S. Horiuchi, T. Satoh, K. Mori, T. Nishiuchi, H. Miyamoto, H. Kodama, M. Hattori, H. Ohno, J. Kikuchi, M. Y. Hirai,
"An agroecological structure model of compost-soil-plant interactions for sustainable organic farming".
Masami Hirai; Team Leader
Metabolic Systems Research Team
Jun Kikuchi; Team Leader
Environmental Metabolic Analysis Research Team