Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Découvertes et avancées | Scientific result | Environment | Carbon cycle | Agronomy
Relying on isotopic measurements, a collaboration involving BIAM (CEA-CNRS-AMU) and the LSCE (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ) has succeeded in quantifying the amount of carbon released into the soil by the roots of millet after only a few weeks of growth. The researchers were thus able to identify millet genotypes (lines) that offer optimal carbon storage while preserving the older carbon stocks already present in the soil.
Promoting carbon storage in soils through virtuous agricultural practices has a dual advantage:
With this in mind, researchers from BIAM and the LSCE, in collaboration with the IRD and the University of Montpellier, chose to study millet, a cereal grown primarily in Africa and India. Specifically, they compared different lines whose roots aggregate soil particles more or less efficiently. This property of "rhizospheric aggregation" is known to allow plants to adapt to stresses, in particular water stress. The biologists grew four lines of Pennisetum glaucum millet (C4 type) in soil dominated by the organic material from C3 plants. After four weeks of growth, they evaluated:
Millet lines whose roots have aggregated more soil particles are therefore able to input more carbon in the soil, and among the high-aggregation lines, one was pointed out as best preserving the old soil carbon from overconsumption by soil microorganisms.In a subsequent stage, the identification of genes controlling rhizospheric aggregation could pave the way for varietal selection programs designed to promote soil carbon storage.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.