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Course Hot topic of environmental sciences (MO550C06E) is hosting foreign guests, who will give lectures and field or laboratory practices in different areas of scientific research.

V rámci kurzu Hot topic of environmental sciences zveme zahraniční hosty, vědce i praktiky z různých oblastí výzkumu. Výuka obvykle probíhá blokově, dle možností hosta, většinou jde o několik přednášek doplněných terénním nebo laboratorním cvičením.

Zde budou každý rok atualizovány informace o pozvaném přednášejícím a tématu kurzu.




Invited guest: Daquan Sun,  Soil & Water Research Infrastructure, Biology Centre CAS, Czech Republic

This year's theme:  Plant, soil, and microbial interactions and their practical implications

Schedule: October to December 2021, weekly

Where: will be specified later



Soil microbial ecology studies the biota that inhabit the soil, their functions, the processes they mediate, and the effects of their activities on soil texture and plant growth and health. Soil microbial communities play important roles in nutrient recycling, formation of symbiotic or pathogenic relationships with plants, control of C emissions, and soil aggregation. They are often studied by monitoring the dynamics of whole communities or some guilds of microorganisms in terms of abundance and diversity. Many efforts have been made to isolate and exploit plant growth-promoting microorganisms that have, among others. The following functions, but not limited to 1) the ability to utilize inorganic phosphorus species in biochar (most sewage sludge biochar contains a high concentration of phosphorus, but some bacteria can excrete enzymes to utilize Pi species); 2) antagonistic effects (a bacterial consortium requires that the different PGBB do not have strong antagonistic effects against each other); 3) excretion of biosurfactants (most biochar is hydrophobic, but biosurfactants can reduce water tension to bind organic nutrients); 4) successful PGBB should be compatible with biosurfactant producers. Understanding the interactions between plants, soils, and microorganisms and the mechanisms involved offers the possibility of modulating the processes of plant disease incidence, bioremediation, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil remediation.


Following this presentation, participants will understand the phylogenetic structure of soil microbial communities responding to environmental variables, the major factors determining soil microbial distribution, the history of commercial use of plant growth-promoting microorganisms in practice, modern methods for studying the soil microbiome, and most importantly, the practical implications for issues of greenhouse gas emissions, soil plant disease suppression, bioremediation of organic pollutants and heavy metals, and soil remediation.

Overview of the course
Importance of soil microbial communities to plants and soils
Aspect 1: Distribution of soil microbial communities
Aspect 2: Methodologies and analyses

Modulation of soil microbial communities for plant and soil health
Aspect 3: Suppression of plant diseases
Aspect 4: Soil remediation
Aspect 5: Bioremediation of organic pollutants and heavy metals

Implications for practise
Aspect 6: Synergistic effects of pyrogenic carbon and microorganisms
Aspect 7: Greenhouse gas emissions
Aspect 8: Microbial fuel cells


  1. Quiz: Identify three important global environmental issues relevant to plant, soil and microbial interactions, and propose potential measures in the context of soil microbial ecology.
  2. Quiz: Select the main factors that determine the success of using microbial inoculants in both the pots experiment and the field trial.
  3. Summarize the current and promising ways in the plant, soil and microbial context for C sequestration (i.e., agro- or forestry systems) (maximum 1 page of text)

Send answers by e-mail and there will be a short discussion. The lecture is open to bachelor and master students, and PhD students who are interested in the course.


  1. Glick, B.R., 2012. Plant growth-promoting bacteria: mechanisms and applications. Scientifica, 2012.
  2.  Crowley, D.E., Wang, Y.C., Reid, C.P.P. and Szaniszlo, P.J., 1991. Mechanisms of iron acquisition from siderophores by microorganisms and plants. In Iron nutrition and interactions in plants (213-232). Springer, Dordrecht.
  3. Van Elsas, J.D., Trevors, J.T., Rosado, A.S. and Nannipieri, P. eds., 2019. Modern soil microbiology. CRC press.
  4. Paul, E. ed., 2014. Soil microbiology, ecology and biochemistry. Academic press.


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