UNAM Scientist to participate in the first African Soil Microbiology project
Of all the continents, Africa faces the largest challenges concerning soil conservation and food security, in the face of increasing populations and environmental change.
Top scientists in microbiology from seven sub-Saharan African countries (including Namibia) met at the University of Pretoria recently to launch the African Soil Microbiology project. This three year project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to undertake a broadscale survey of soil microbiology across the entire African continent, using the latest Next Generation DNA sequencing and computational technologies.
This unique multi-national project, the first such study to ever 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 and the future impacts of climate change, and important health issues such as soil-borne pathogens.
Contributed by Prof PM Chimwamurombe