October 03, 2020 2 min read

 70% of earth's surface is water. If we look at the number, it looks like a sufficiently high number- something we do not need to worry about. Yet, talk of water shortages, whether it be for drinking or crop irrigation, is not uncommon.  Why is that? This is because 97% of earth's water is comprised of salty ocean water. This means only 3% or less than 1% of water (when excluding glaciers), is available to humans, animals, plants, and crops. Furthermore, the growing desertification caused by pollution and global warming intensify water shortage, coupled by an ever-increasing demand for water required to maintain our increasingly industrialized way of life. For these reasons, integrated water management systems of water supply & sewerage, comprising facility constructions, and agricultural management systems & technology carry more weight than ever.  

Water shortage is no longer an issue of some faraway underdeveloped country. Every year, hundreds and thousands of jobs in the agricultural industry are vanishing in the U.S. due to droughts. Developing realistic and innovative solutions to growing crops and plants using less water is (or should be) one of the central focuses of growers. Enhancing transpiration vs. evaporation rate of plants and reducing water runoff / water leakage in soil are some of the emerging methods being used to optimize water usage. Given the fact that the transpiration vs. evaporation rate is closely related to rhizosphere activity between microbes and plants, finding proper solutions targeting this area will heavily depend on studying biological behaviors of these soil microbes- particularly rhizobacteria, a PGPR.

PGPR is also known as 'plant growth promoting rhizobacteria', and much attention has already been paid to how it contributes to growth of plants. However, this tiny and simple, yet amazing organism is able to carry out another crucial role in growing crops. PGPR-treated soils hold more water for longer periods of time and reduce water leakage that occurs through soil pores. This is due to rhizobacteria, like Bacillus spp., that secrete EPS (extracellular polymeric substances). EPS are natural polymers and a major component of biofilm, which soil microbes attach themselves to and build symbiotic relationships with plant roots. 

A graphic that explains how this process works when Mikro-H20 is applied:

Biofilms are found in healthy soil webs with explosive root growths and proliferations of microbial colonies. They have large water holding capacities that prevent water from evaporating and alter soil structures like pore spacing. They also prevent fertilizer from seeping out, increasing retention of nutrients needed for survival of microbes.

PGPR, otherwise known as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, are understood to promote plant growth by 1) increasing nutrient availability in the soil, 2) regulating plant hormones, and 3) protecting plants against biotic/abiotic stresses. Now that one of the biggest challenges in agriculture and gardening is tosecure water and toreduce the loss of water, it is time to actively implement this soil microbe to give relief to plants during increasingly frequent and intense droughts and water shortages.

Mikro-H20 aims to do exactly that with carefully cultivated and selected proprietary strains of Bacillus Amyloliquefaciens and Bacillus Subtilis. Try Mikro-H20 to see growth even during times of droughts and water shortages!