Prairie microbes could aid region's restoration

By Science News Staff, 13:45 PM October 31, 2013

Guest post by Gabriel Popkin

Diverse tallgrass prairies once covered about 10 percent of the United States, but farming and grazing have reduced the habitats to a handful of small remnants.

Scientists studied the genes of bacterial communities living in some of those prairie remnants and discovered that the grassy areas have far more Verrucomicrobia, a little studied group of bacteria, than agricultural soils do. These bacteria are experts in breaking down complex carbon-containing structures s...

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