Home » Free Webinar Replay: How Microbes Protect Plants Free Webinar Replay: How Microbes Protect Plants March 4, 2021 Join us for a fascinating replay titled “How Microbes Protect Plants,” recorded March 4, 2021. Acres U.S.A. editor Ben Trollinger and Dr. Judith Fitzpatrick, microbiologist and a recognized leader in the development of on-site diagnostic tests, led the discussion in front of hundreds of attendees. Originally recorded March 4, 2021, for a virtual audience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihr1cae9rBk Webinar Description Understanding the dependence of the plant on microbes is crucial to planning for less dependence on pesticides and chemical fertilizers. When the relationship between the plant and the soil microbes is disrupted the immune system of the plant is basically disabled because the plant’s immune system is almost completely dependent on soil microbes and other members of the soil food web. The microbes are so important to the plant that up to 30% of the nutrients produced by a plant can be provided to the microbes via root exudates. A healthy immune system requires a healthy plant and the rhizobacteria that the plant feeds in the rhizosphere secrete plant growth factors that stimulate plant and root growth. The plant selects the microbes it needs in the rhizosphere by controlling the nutrients it secretes from the roots and lures microbes into the rhizosphere from the area outside the rhizosphere by secreting the microbes’ favorite food. It is important to note here that a major stimulus for the plant to secrete nutrients from the roots is a need for nitrogen: it follows that a chemical excess of nitrogen neutralizes the plants need to secrete these exudates and so decreases the microbial population and makes the plant more susceptible to pathogens. This webinar will emphasize the plant growth promoting function of rhizobacteria PGPR. Future issues will discuss the contribution of these microbes to plant resistance to disease, herbivores and climactic stressors and the important functions of the soil fungi. This webinar is sponsored by microBIOMETER.