Micronutrients from volcanic ash influence the tomato root microbiome and fruit production

Figure 1: Model depicting the predicted impact of Azomite treatment on biochemical composition in the roots leading to changes in root-associated bacterial community structure. Drawing by E. Mehlferber.

FOREWORD by Rajnish Khanna, Founder & CEO, i-Cultiver

Why is it important to examine how soil amendments effect soil and plant associated microbial communities?

Figure 2: Total number of tomatoes produced per week were counted. Results show that Azomite increased the number of tomatoes produced per plant.
Figure 3: Computationally inferred functional groups of “core taxa” that were differentially abundant in treated or Control samples. Left panel shows functions that were more abundant in Azomite treated samples and right panel shows functions that were identified as more abundant in Control samples in Rhizosphere* (a) and Root (b) in 8 weeks and 18 weeks as indicated. (*Rhizosphere: Bacteria tightly associated to the surface of roots.)
  • Mehlferber, E.C., McCue, K.F., Ferrel, J.E., Koskella, B., Khanna, R. (2022) Temporally Selective Modification of the Tomato Rhizosphere and Root Microbiome by Volcanic Ash Fertilizer Containing Micronutrients. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.00049-22

Meet The Authors

Rajnish Khanna, M.Sc. Ph.D.
Brigid McNally, M.A.
Elijah C. Mehlferber, Ph.D. Candidate
Kent F. McCue, Ph.D.
Britt Koskella, Ph.D.
Jon E. Ferrel, M.S., M.B.A.



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Rajnish Khanna

Rajnish Khanna

Rajnish Khanna is founder and CEO of i-Cultiver and Global Food Scholar; Senior Investigator at Carnegie Science; Science Advisor at The Chopra Foundation.