Nitrous oxide (N₂O) and methane (CH₄) are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) as well as CO₂. Agriculture is a major source of N₂O and CH₄. Prof. Johan Rockström predicted the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold. If so, the irreversible trajectory of the Earth System would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society and economies.
We aim to develop innovative technologies to achieve 80% reduction of GHG emissions from agricultural soil by 2050. In our project, we adopt three research strategies: (i) Inoculation of microorganisms to reduce N₂O and CH₄ emission, (ii) Crop breeding to accommodate these microorganisms, and (iii) Soil structures supporting the inoculation. Our interdisciplinary research (dSOIL) is composed of five tasks: N₂O Recycling, Soil Structure, CH₄ Recycling, Assessment & Modeling and *DREAM.
Previously, we verified that N₂O/CH₄-reducing symbiotic bacteria reduced the GHGs in soils. However, The bottleneck was the robustness of soil microbial community. Thus, two scientific fields (soil sciences and plant-microbe interactions) are integrated into our interdisciplinary project to overcome the bottleneck, which are supported by young scientists and new technologies.
GHG emissions occurred in most agricultural lands in the world. Therefore, we need to make international networks in terms of science, technology and social responsibility towards “Cool Earth via Microbes in Agriculture”.
*DREAM (Designing of Reinforced and Effective Agricultural Material)