Ever wonder what makes soil, soil? And could soil from the Amazon rainforest really be the same as soil from your garden? Researchers from the University of Manchester and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) are using DNA sequencing to unlock the secrets of the world’s soils, and analyse ecological patterns and microbial communities on a global scale.
Facilitating the search for new antibiotics: that's what Gilles van Wezel aims to do by looking at similarities in the DNA of antibiotic-producing bacteria.
Earlier this month, His Royal Highness King Willem-Alexander paid a working visit to the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). The visit included a tour, an introduction to NIOO's three major research themes, and a number of hands-on ecological measurements and experiments in which the King took part.
The conversion of Amazon rainforest for agriculture has led to deforestation and soil degradation. Agroforestry has been suggested as a sustainable alternative, but NIOO's Eiko Kuramae says its impact on the soil needs to be more fully considered.