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New bacteria discovered to degrade soil pollutants

By Grace Chomba

The bacteria break down carbon and regulate the carbon cycle hence help to fight climate change.

Gradual climate change has affected most farming activities. Heavy rains and prolonged dry periods experienced in different regions have been caused by gradual climate change. This has interfered with the planting seasons and a decrease in crop production has been encounter by some farmers.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one-third of the greenhouse emissions come from agricultural activities and 30 per cent from waste materials.

Researchers from Cornell University have discovered a new bacteria that can help fight climate change which has affected most farming activities globally. Climate change is caused by industrial waste and greenhouse emissions that have led to reduced crop production. 

The bacteria is called madseniana, named after Gene Madsen, the microbiology professor who started the research.

According to, the researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria that can break down organic matter, including cancer-causing chemicals released after coal, oil, gas and refuse are burnt.

The site explains how the bacteria break down carbon and regulate the carbon cycle thus controlling soil pollution and climate change.

The researchers discovered the bacteria from acidic forest soil and found that it can break down pollutants in contaminated soils. 

They found out that the forest trees feed carbon to the bacteria which in return degraded pollutants in the soil. The bacteria is said to release nitrogen and phosphorus to the soil hence improving soil fertility.

It will also help control environmental pollution caused by carbon emissions that causes adverse climate conditions.

The study states that a clear understanding of how the bacteria break down the carbon in the soil will help the researchers be able to forecast how the global climate will be like in years to come. 




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