Effectiveness of introduced microbial mixes


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Christopher E Martin
Committee: Jeff Holmes, Alisa Hove, Mark Brenner

Within the soil, a microbiome exists within and around every land plant, so it is unsurprising that researchers have begun to study the effects of independently cultured and applied microorganisms to agronomy systems. One such microbial mixture on the market is Dr. Teruo Higa’s Effective Microorganisms-1®, a microbial inoculant intended to improve plant-soil interactions through introduced beneficial or “Effective Microorganisms®”.


An experiment was carried out within the Warren Wilson College Greenhouse during a 73 day period to determine the impact of EM-1® as a soil microbial inoculant on Brassica rapa, Sub. rapa. Two experimental groups and one control group were grown under greenhouse conditions with supplemental fertilizer .Overall comparison of total plant mass by ANOVA statistical analysis showed significant differences in mass between groups. The survivorship between groups was compared with a Chi squared statistical test between groups, showing a statistical significance . The die-off of the living EM-1® treatment as well as the similar die-off of the sterilized EM-1® treatment suggests that EM-1® may have no measurable positive impact on the overall biomass, growth rate and survivorship of Brassica rapa, sub. rapa.This research and its results will help in the continued analysis of applied cultured microorganisms to plants in an attempt to increase growth rate and yields, in addition to shaping experimental design.