Microscopic life in the saline soil of the Marismas del Odiel Natural Park

26th April 2019

A University of Seville research group, led by the professor Antonio Ventosa, has, for the first time, studied and described the microbiome of saline soil in the Marismas del Odiel Natural Park. This research opens new perspectives in microbiome study of this type of environment, which can produce data on, among other aspects, possible climate alterations and other environmental factors in microbial populations.

It is estimated that saline soil and soil with salinity problems cover 2% of the world´s surface. Spain is one of the countries with the greatest area of this type of soil in Europe. Its wide distribution and the growing salinization of the soil due to irrigation practices and the processes of desertification means that research into the microbial community of these environments is vital for recovering soil affected by salinization due to agricultural use. In addition, it makes it possible to accurately predict how climate change will affect these communities and, therefore, the services that they provide to humans.

The research carried out at the University of Seville forms part of the doctoral studies of Blanca Vera Gargallo and was done in collaboration with the research group led by the teacher Janet K. Jansson from Pacific National Northwest Laboratory in the United States. It forms part of the international project Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), an open science project, which is collaborative and whose aim is to characterise the taxonomic diversity and microbial function of the diverse habitats that exist on our planet.

Full details can be found here