Academic Venture Fund - 2017

Making the Most of Marginal Lands

Grassroots in rocky ground

Marginal land, including degraded farmland and contaminated sites, could be the next frontier for expanding biofuel production. Less fertile soils are often poorly drained, with pronounced wet and dry cycles, and these fluctuations can also affect how plants respond to climate stress. This team will identify responses in the rhizosphere--the soil layer where plant roots and microorganisms interact--that help biomass crops to thrive during drought and rewetting cycles, for better productivity in marginal soils and a changing climate.

Investigators: Taryn Bauerle, Ludmilla Aristilde, Larry Smart, Abraham Stroock