African Soil Microbiology project launched

Posted on October 28, 2016


Climate change and ever-increasing populations have contributed to make Africa the continent that faces the largest challenges with regard to soil conservation and food security.

Scientists from seven sub-Saharan African countries met at the University of Pretoria during the second week of October 2016 to launch the African Soil Microbiology Project. This three-year project, funded by USAID, aims to undertake a broad-scale survey of soil microbiology across the entire African continent, using the latest next-generation DNA sequencing and computational technologies.

This unique multinational project, the first ever study of this nature to be undertaken in Africa at this scale, is expected to unravel the complexities of soil microbiological diversity across sub-Saharan Africa. The results of the research will contribute to our understanding of soil fertility, soil degradation, the future impact of climate change and important health issues, such as soil-borne pathogens.

For more information, contact the project director, Prof Don Cowan, Director: Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, University of Pretoria ([email protected])



- Author Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics

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