Study unlocks surprising behaviour of soil bacteria

1st July 2016

Newly sequenced genomes of soil bacteria have raised questions about how differing land management affects the organisms' behaviour.

UK scientists found one strain locked nitrogen in the soil, while another released a potent greenhouse gas.

The findings came to light after the researchers sequenced Bradyrhizobium, one of the most active and abundant groups of soil bacteria.

Serpentine plants survive harsh soils thanks to borrowed genes

29th June 2016

Scientists from the John Innes Centre have analysed the genomes of plants that grow in harsh, serpentine soils to find out how they survive in such conditions.

It appears that they have used two strategies: adapting to their environment through natural selection that acted on genetic variants which arose locally, as well as by borrowing useful variants from a related plant growing nearby.