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cereal nitrogen fixation

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Wed Feb 3 08:53:06 EST 1993

In article <9323084255.MIN-LNJAa03968.bionet-news at uk.ac.daresbury> you wrote:
: Greetings Plant People,

Greetings, Ewen.

: [autoclaved soil stuff deleted ...]
: How to put this politely... Listen all you plant people out there.

ok, we're listening ...

: The processes do not start proceed and end with your little green
: things. The Soil Microbial Biomass is the eye of the needle through
: which the processes of plant nutrition must pass (both ways, I know,
: since root exudates form a vital part of the nutrient supply for the
: rhizosphere Micro-organisms).

I beg to differ: the 'process' starts with energy capture by autotrophs
(ie. "little green things") that supply the complex carbohydrates used
by the heterotrophic 'SMB' in their helpful symbiosis - rather like the
symbiotic relationships between plant biologists and microbiologists ;-)

I don't dispute the great importance of the SMB, but the observation
that plants grow readily under hydroponic (or aeroponic) cultivation
demonstrates that the processes of plant nutrition do not depend on the
presence of an active SMB.

The issue you are raising, Ewen, is the importance of SMB to nutrient
availability.  Hydroponic cultivation is clearly only possible because
of the symbiotic relationship between the chemical industry and some
horticulturalists :-(

: For  great examples of how to completely ignore the SMB in plant
: microcosm work, please feel free to mail me. I have a very long list.
: So, let's have it people. All criticism gratefully recieved, because,
: as Euan's sig file says, My institution doesn't know I exist either !
: (Incidentally, great name, Euan. Not too many of us about !)
: [...]

My institution knows I exist in cyberspace, and it knows how much it
cost to get me there but it doesn't know the real value of the journey.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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