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Root slime helps plants eat rocks, sequester carbon
February 9, 2011

A special root slime helps plants like this pine tree
pull nutrients from bare rock. Flickr photo courtesy
of eviltomthai:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/
eviltomthai/with/3962306712

PULLMAN – WSU researchers have received half a million dollars to study a microscopic slime that they believe plays an outsized role in life on the planet.

 

The root biofilm is central to the earth’s balance of carbon, how soil is formed, the foundation of plant life and possibly the future of agriculture.

 

But there’s a mystery to the process, which Kent Keller and a group of colleagues will explore with … » More …