With the growing demand for more sustainable agriculture, efficient use of pastures becomes necessary. However, according to the diagnosis of pastures in Brazil, carried out by Embrapa in 2014, about 100 million hectares of pastures in the country are at some level of degradation. Phosphorus is one of the most limiting nutrients in tropical soils, therefore, plants and microorganisms play a very important role in the cycling of this nutrient, as they have different strategies for its solubilization and mineralization. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi can contribute to P mineralization through the release of extracellular enzymes called phosphatases and to P solubilization through the release of organic and inorganic acids. Therefore, this work seeks to study how changes caused by genetic improvement in Urochloa affect the microbial community in the soil, and whether these improvements in nutritional quality and resistance to pests have an influence on microorganisms associated with these plants. For this, four Urochloa cultivars will be used, two traditional and two modern, respectively, Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu, Urochloa ruziziensis, Urochloa brizantha BRS Paiaguás and the hybrid BRS RB331 Ipyporã (hybridization between the two traditional cultivars, Urochloa ruziziensis x Urochloa brizantha). For this, enzymatic analysis, P fractionation, physical and chemical analyzes of soil will be carried out in conjunction with sensitive and high-resolution molecular techniques, such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for quantitative analysis of marker genes and functions associated with the phosphorus cycle and large-scale sequencing for taxonomic analysis of the microbiota - Archaea, Bacteria, and Fungi. The integration of these data through statistical analysis, bioinformatics and analysis in correlation networks will generate results that will make it possible to explain the relationship between the availability of P in the soil aligned with improved Urochloa cultivars, and thus effectively contribute to a potential restoration of degraded pastures, the focus of studies in projects for the recovery of the Atlantic Forest in the State of São Paulo.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: