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What nutrients does a plant need?

Plants need all the elements or "building blocks" required to make more plant tissue. This includes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), which are called macronutrients, as they are required in relatively large quantities. Carbon is required in even larger quantity. 

Carbon comes from Carbon fixation in photosynthesis and is also received through organic compounds in soils after being broken down by soil bacteria.

Other elements required in smaller quantities, elements such as sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and manganese are referred to as micronutrients.

Complex specific beneficial organics are produced by bacteria in soil.


Explain the vast diversity of microorganisms in the MICROBE ACT  Hydroponic products


There are four types of microorganisms in the  MICROBE ACT  Hydroponic series including:

  1. Photosynthetic bacteria which supply energy from light, fix nitrogen and carbon, degrade toxic chemicals, and supply organic carbon to plants for growth.

  2. Vegetative strains improve soil by breaking down residual toxic chemicals such as pesticides.  They also break down complex organics to provide nutrients to plants.

  3. Mycorrhizae are specialized fungi included to assist plants in developing a larger root system increasing the plant’s ability to absorb vital nutrients.

  4. Bacillus spores are the most common microbial additives in L&G products. They are known to produce auxins, hormones, and other substances to promote plant vigor. They also breakdown complex organics to produce forms readily available to plants.


How does MICROBE ACT Hydroponic technology affect the availability of minerals to plants?


The bacteria in MICROBE ACT   break down organic compounds in the soil releasing elements that the plant can readily absorb. In addition, they work on elements present in the soil to convert them to more soluble, absorbable forms.


What is the process of photosynthesis in plants?


Photosynthesis is the process by which plants grow. Plants contain chlorophyll that utilizes light energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide CO2, water, and minerals to oxygen and organic compounds such as sugars. The CO2 consumed and O2 produced by this process maintains the natural balance of these compounds in our atmosphere.

Plants also contain carotinoids that aid in capturing light energy from the sun and help protect the plant from sun damage. MICROBEACT contain two photosynthetic strains that enhance photosynthesis including improving the efficiency and effectiveness of CO2 fixation.


What is the difference from the photosynthesis reaction in a plant and the photosynthesis reaction carried out by MICROBE ACT  Hydroponic bacteria?


Plant photosynthesis is an oxygenic or oxygen producing reaction. The microbes in MICROBE ACT do not produce oxygen.

Like plants, the photosynthetic organisms in MICROBE ACT  products harness the sun's rays to produce energy, but they have a different form of chlorophyll (known as bacterio-chlorophyll) that utilizes a different and wider range of the light spectrum. Their metabolic capabilities are extremely versatile. They can metabolize with or without oxygen. Their photosynthetic process can produce hydrogen gas from either carbon-based or nitrogen-based compounds which include Hydrogen.  Alternatively, they can convert hydrogen sulfide to elemental sulfur. These highly versatile bacteria can degrade a wide range of complex organic compounds to release energy and make nutrients available to plants.

Like plants, these bacteria use photosynthesis to generate energy for their growth and for utilization by other living systems.


How does MICROBE ACT  transfer energy to a plant?


Plants produce root exuadates through plant photosynthesis and exudes sugars through the roots to support microbial growth in the soil or growth media surrounding the roots. These microbes then produce auxins, hormones, and other substances necessary for plant growth and vigor.


Why are bio- chemical cycles important in nature?


Nutrient cycles are nature’s way of recycling elements necessary for life recycling dead organic matter to elements available to produce new life forms. Major cycles include Nitrogen, Carbon, and Phosphorus. Life on earth could not exist without recycling of elements.


Why is it important to have an active population of beneficial microbes in the soil to help plant growth and health?


A dense and balanced microbial population in the plant ecosystem can:


  • Create natural, nutrient-laden  humus by degrading organics. Organic content is key to water holding capacity.

  • Improve soil structure by binding particles together and create micro aggregates improving the flow of water and nutrients and allowing oxygen and other gases to permeate.   

  • Protect roots from disease and parasites

  • Retain nitrogen and other plant nutrients, which are then slowly released to the plant 

  • Produce enzymes and hormones that help plants grow and resist stress

  • Decompose toxic pollutants that enter soil and stress plants


The bacteria in MICROBEACT provide energy from photosynthesis and excellent capability to degrade organics and out-compete pathogens, thus, Helping provide energy and populate a vigorous soil ecosystem. Not only do bacteria aid plants directly, but they also help feed higher organisms that provide vital functions as well.



What are Mycorrhizae and how are they different from other bacteria?


Beneficial bacteria grow in the rhizosphere where they breakdown complex organics and provide auxins, hormones, and other nutrients that help the plant grow.  These bacteria work synergistically with Mycorrhize.


Mycorrhizae are specialized filamentous, soil fungi that attach to plant roots, basically providing a more extensive matrix for accessing nutrients and moisture. There are two types, the "endo" type is utilized by most plants, while the "ecto" type is most beneficial to woody shrubs and trees.  MICROBE ACT  products contain both types.


What is the rhizosphere?


The rhizosphere is the narrow region of soil around the root tip where plants encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria by the secretion of sugars and sloughing off of plant cells that feed them. Higher life forms such as protozoa and nematodes graze on the bacterial population. Therefore, much of the nutrient cycling and disease suppression occurs in populations in the root zone.


What is the difference between vegetative strains and spores?


Some bacteria, notably the Bacilli, produce a protective form in unfavorable growth conditions as a survival mechanism. Spores provide long-term survival during desiccation (for dry products) and protect the organism when formulated in unfavorable liquids. However, these spores require time to germinate (just like a seed) which delays their action during product use.

Bacillus spores are the most common form of spore microbe used in L&G formulations because of their stability.  While Bacillus spores are very effective at providing some compounds useful to plant growth and pathogen resistance, there are many capabilities they do not provide such as pesticide and herbicide degradation, nitrogen and carbon fixation, etc. When the spores germinate and become active they are considered to be in the vegetative or "growing" form.


Many organisms are not capable of producing spores. They are always in the active form where they perform immediately upon application. However, it is much more difficult to maintain these strains in a stable formulation.

MICROBE ACT has a unique, stable formulation of vegetative strains with excellent shelf-life.


How does  MICROBE ACT   reduce fertilizer run-off?


Chemical fertilizers dissolve in available water to diffuse into roots, but without microbes much soluble fertilizer will leach away where it may be out of reach to plants and result in contaminatig surface waters.

A rich microbial population helps retain nitrogen and other chemical nutrients.  The microbes take up the water soluble nutrients and use them to generate insoluble organic compounds, in the form of cellular components, which will eventually break down, releasing the nutrients, but at a slower rate, like and organic fertilizer. 

In addition, due to the nitrogen-fixing microbes in MICROBE ACT , less chemical nitrogen is required further reducing potential run-off.


How does MICROBE ACT  help reduce plant disease?


While MICROBE ACT   is not a pesticide and cannot claim pesticidal activity, its ability to enhance plant health and vigor helps the plant to optimize its natural ability to fend off disease.


Can MICROBE ACT   be used where fertilizers are restricted?


Growers and Gardeners are faced with ever increasing controls on fertilizer and water use in areas facing fertilizer run off problems and drought. Use of MICROBE ACT can provide better water retention and, by nitrogen fixation, provides nitrogen from the atmosphere helping meet customer needs for more vigorous plant growth while maintaining regulatory compliance.


What do you mean by reduced shrinkage?


Shrinkage is a term that refers to loss of inventory based on poor survival caused by drought,  sun damage, disease, and unattractiveness due to color change or spindly growth. By increasing water retention, maintaining vigor, and providing a measure of protection against  the sun’s rays, MICROBE ACT  helps maintain a vigorous inventory.


Many products contain microbes and humates. How is MICROBE ACT different from competitive products?


No other product in the Hydroponics, Grower Lawn and Garden markets contain the same stable photosynthetic strains of Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Rhodospirillum rubrum. These are extremely powerful microbes that provide energy, protect plants from sun damage, fix nitrogen and carbon dioxide, and provide  a wide range of degradative capabilities to breakdown chemical contaminants.

No other product on the market contains as diverse a consortium of stable, vegetative strains that go to work immediately to breakdown both organics for food and toxic compounds that weaken plants, outcompete pathogens, and support a vigorous soil web.

No other product combines the photosynthetic and vegetative strains with nitrogen-fixing organisms to reduce fertilizer requirement and reduce fertilizer run-off, organisms capable of nitrification to convert nitrogen compounds into forms usable to the plant, and denitrifiers to complete the nitrogen cycle.


How does MICROBE ACT  help commercial growers get product to market sooner?


By promoting earlier seed germination, faster growth, and more hearty fruiting, MICROBE ACT products  bring plants to a "ready-to-market" stage faster than most nursery stock, allowing the nursery to scoop the competition and command higher prices.


What are BRIX levels?


The BRIX level is the measure of carbohydrate (sugar) in plant juices as measured by refractometer. A higher BRIX level indicates produce that has more nutritive value, higher mineral content, and vigorous plants that are more resistant to insects and disease.


How does use of MICROBE ACT  products produce more nutritious crops?


Not only does use of MICROBEACT products speed seed germination and increase yields, testing has demonstrated that MICROBE ACT   products make nutrients more available to plants, resulting in plant meristematic tissue (including produce yield) with higher levels of minerals so essential to good nutrition.


Why are microbial additives so important in hydroponic production?


When growers and gardeners use soil-less media, they do not have the microbiology that is present in rich soils to help maintain nutrients. With heterotrophic bacteria, MICROBE ACT  cultures inoculate hydroponic media with strains that colonize both media and plant roots, where they go to work immediately providing their benefits. Humates supply micronutrients often supplied by healthy cultures in standard soil media.


What is the Calvin Benson Cycle?


Plant photosynthesis is a two-step process. The Calvin-Benson cycle represents the second phase of plant photosynthesis. This light-independent Calvin  cycle, also known as the "dark reaction", uses the energy from electrons produced in phase one, to convert carbon dioxide and water into organic compounds such as glucose that can be used by the organism (and by animals that feed on it).

This set of reactions is also called carbon fixation.

It was discovered by Melvin Calvin, James Bassham, and Andrew Benson at the University of California, Berkeley.

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