In Pursuit of Diversity – A Look Into the World of Microbes

by Stephen J. Becker

“We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.”  -Albert Einstein

Nature has produced many incredible and intricately interrelated ecosystems throughout our planet. These connections are so complex and interwoven that, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world” (John Muir).

It has taken eons for all of these threads to weave themselves into the fabric of our world. When man disturbs these systems through physical, chemical, or biological alterations, it can take a very long time (at least in man’s eyes) for Nature to right these wrongs. However, we do not have thousands, hundreds, or even tens of years to wait for these systems to come back into balance when we want to grow healthy crops. We need to address the nutritional and biological needs as quickly as possible to facilitate a return to aproductive state. This is the reason for, and the goal, of biological inocula.

Tainio Technology and Technique, Inc. has been blending microbial products to successfully facilitate re-inoculation of stressed and depleted soils for over 25 years, by careful observance of nature and the selection of wide arrays of beneficial soil microbes (bacteria and fungi). We constantly scan available literature and analyze soils to continually evolve our product line into a robust line of products to work within almost any budget, soil type, climate, region, application method, or problem that a farmer may have.

One of the main strengths of the Tainio product line is diversity. Learning from Nature and utilizing the tools that she has made available, complex mixtures of different microbe groups are blended together, each with their own incredible and unique abilities. This imbues each of the products with abilities and features such as:

-Free-living nitrogen fixing bacteria — nitrogen that you do not have to pay for
– Phosphorus and other nutrient solubilization — making available what you have in the soil
– Organic matter decomposers — for soil building and residue digesting
– Providers of food for other members of the food web — building a stronger and more
stable ecosystem
– Increase in Plant Growth Hormones– Indoleacetic acid, cytokinins, and other plant growth hormones are produced by the various microbes
– High level of Pseudomonads — which the use of Glyphosate can completely decimate
– High level of reducing organisms — the reduced form of most minerals is the plant bioavailable form
– Increased root biomass
– Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR):

-“In the rhizosphere, bacteria are the most abundant microorganisms. Rhizobacteria are rhizosphere competent bacteria that aggressively colonize plant roots; they are able to multiply and colonize all the ecological niches found on the roots at all stages of plant growth, in the presence of a competing microflora (Antoun and Kloepper, 2001).”
-“PGPR may induce plant growth promotion by direct or indirect modes of action.”(Beauchamp, 1993; Kapulnik, 1996; Lazorovits and Nowak, 1997)
-“Direct mechanisms include the production of stimulatory bacterial volatiles and phytohormones, lowering of the ethylene level in plant, improvement of the plant nutrient status (liberation of phosphates and micronutrients from insoluble sources; non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation) … Indirect effect[s] originate … when… they stimulate other beneficial symbioses, or when they protect the plant by degrading xenobiotics in inhibitory contaminated soils.” (Jacobsen, 1997)

-“PGPR are classified as biofertilizers (increasing the availability of nutrients to plant), phytostimulators (plant growth promoting, usually by the production of phytohormones), rhizoremediators (degrading organic pollutants).”… (Somers et al.,2004)

…and much, much more.

Our quest to build the best possible soil inoculants has resulted in an evolution of products with greater and greater diversity; and as Nature has taught us, diversity is the key to strength. As our ever-expanding approach to soil inoculation evolves, so too does our product composition. For example, increasing the density of certain microbes with specifically targeted innate abilities already found in the blend (diazotrophic, phosphorus solubilizing, soil structuring, water scavenging, growth promoting, etc…) results in stronger and stronger products.

Recently we have been studying the beneficial symbiotic relationships between soil bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. While known for their water and phosphorus uptake as well as carbon sequestration (glomalin production), mycorrhizal fungi are a bit finicky, rather fragile, and easily destroyed by tillage, host plant removal, chemical applications, and many other common agricultural practices. This means that in order to re-establish a balanced soil ecosystem the mycorrhizal fungi must be reintroduced to the root zone of actively growing plants.

This is yet another strength of the microbes in the Tainio Technology blends. Many of the bacteria found in the Tainio microbe blends have been identified as Mycorrhiza Helper Bacteria (MHB). When MHB are combined with mycorrhizal fungi, there is a population density explosion of all of the beneficial soil microbes, bacteria and fungi alike, resulting in healthy and vigorous plant growth.

Our studies have resulted in the development of a new product called MycoGenesis™, a blend of our ever-popular BioGenesisI NP™ formula with the addition of mycorrhizal fungi (both of which are OMRI listed). Thanks to the MHB’s, which support, protect and facilitate the establishment of the mycorrhizal fungi, the mycorrhiza are able to enhance the inherent phosphorus solubilization, water scavenging, and carbon sequestration capabilities of our microbe blend.

By blending the benefits of this broad array of different organisms, Tainio Technology has taken the guess-work out of the use and application of beneficial soil microbes and provided a line of products* that can fit within any budget, helps build soil ecology, and maximizes plant health and growth.

MycoGenesis is the most economical and convenient way to take full advantage of the many benefits of beneficial soil bacteria and Mycorrhizal fungi all in one product, with one easy application.

Antoun, H., and Kloepper, J. W., 2001, Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), in :

Encylopedia of Genetics, Brenner, S. and Miller, J.H., eds., Academic Press, N.Y., pp.1477-1480.
Antoun, H., and Prevost, D., 2006, Ecology of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, in:

Siddiqui ZA (ed) PGPR: biocontrol and biofertilization. Spring, Heidelberg, pp 1-38.

Beauchamp, C. J., 1993, Mode of action of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and their
potential use as biological control agents, Phytoprotection 71: 19-27.

Jacobsen, C. S., 1997, Plant protection and rhizosphere colonization of barley by seed inoculated herbicide degrading Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) cepacia DBO1(pRO101) in
2,4-D contaminated soil, Plant Soil 189: 139-144

Kapulnik, Y., 1996, Plant growth promoting rhizosphere bacteria, in: Plant Roots the Hidden Half, Waisel, Y., Eshel, A. and Kafkafi, U., eds., Marcel Kekker, N.Y., pp. 769-781.

Lazarovits, G., and Nowak, J. 1997, Rhizobacteria for improvement of plant growth and establishment, HortScience 32: 188-192

Somers, E., Vanderleyden, J., and Srinivasan, M., 2004, Rhizosphere bacterial signalling: a love parade beneath our feet, Crit. Rev. Microbiol.30:205-240.

All rights reserved, Tainio Technology & Technique, Inc. March 14, 2012