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IARRP team discovers green manure is good for soil health

By IARRP | Updated: 2023-11-09

In agricultural production systems, the application of green manure in cultivation has been found to enhance soil fertility, alleviate continuous cropping obstacles, and promote crop growth by supporting diverse and active soil microbial communities. In recent years, the adoption of green manure techniques in tobacco fields has become a new trend.

The Innovation Team of Fertilizer and Fertilization Technology of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), has made a series of discoveries in the regulation of tobacco field soil health through green manure management in the southwestern region. The related achievements have been published in the journals "Biology and Fertility of Soils" and "Journal of Integrative Agriculture".

Optimizing and improving the structure and functionality of soil microbial communities is the foundation for improving soil health through green manuring. Clarifying the extent and mechanisms by which green manuring regulates soil microbial communities holds significant theoretical and practical significance. The research has found that green manuring facilitates the horizontal dispersal of bacterial communities across different compartments of tobacco, including bulk soil, rhizosphere soil, the rhizoplane, and the root system, while enhancing the potential interactions of microbes in adjacent compartments (Liang et al., 2022, Journal of Integrative Agriculture). Further research indicates that green manuring can effectively enhance the ecological process of homogenous selection within microbial community assembly, consequently bolstering the responsiveness of green manure sensitive microbes. And green manuring increases the relative abundance of N-cycle-related genes and a subset of green manure sensitive microbes exhibited significant antagonistic interactions with the fungal pathogens Fusarium spp. and Fusarium solani, and synergistic interactions with the beneficial bacteria Pseudomonas spp. (Liang et al., 2023, Biology and Fertility of Soils). The findings provide a theoretical foundation for using green manure to establish nutrient-efficient cycling, regulate soil microbial communities, and shape healthy soil environments with low disease risks.


Doctoral student Liang Hai from the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, under the guidance of Researcher Cao Weidong, is the first author of a series of papers. Doctor Gao Songjuan from Nanjing Agricultural University and Researcher Cao Weidong are co-corresponding authors. The research was supported by the "Fourteenth Five-Year Plan" National Key Research and Development Program (2021YFD1700200) and the National Green Manure Industry Technology System (CARS-22).

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