Our knowledge regarding the range of soil microbial diversity and its relation to soil and ecosystem functioning is not well understood, and particularly for Cyprus, these issues are completely unknown. Our research aims to collect, analyze and understand the structure, function, activities and dynamics of soil microbial communities generating solutions to societal challenges.
Bacterial isolates from agricultural and natural terrestrial ecosystems are selected based on functional plant growth traits. The ability of these isolates to produce auxins, siderophores, to solubilize phosphorus and potassium and to fix atmospheric Nitrogen is screened. Besides, we are mapping the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the rhizosphere of important legumes and we are examining how plant breeding is shaping their composition and diversity
After extensive sampling, we are studying of the entire microbial communities in environmental samples, to provide information on the microbial diversity and ecology of specific ecosystems (e.g. agricultural and national Forests), without culturing or isolating individual species. We are particularly interested on nitrogen cycling and the abundance of the genes that are related to nitrification and denitrification. Analysis is performed through MAGNETs next generation sequencing facility and quantitative PCR.