Soil represents a vital area of research for the agriculture of tomorrow. The billions of bacteria that can be found in one single gram of soil are an important source of growth for plants. The CMI has a specific R&D department devoted to this issue, where we have taken in two postdoctoral researchers from Research Director Lionel Ranjard’s team from INRA’s Agroecology Mixed Research Unit.

Specialist researchers in microbial ecology from this mixed research unit, which is associated with the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté INRA, have drawn up an inventory of the bacterial communities found in France’s soils. Using the most advanced DNA sequencing techniques, the work led to the creation of this atlas, which gives us a panoramic overview of these bacterial communities while raising awareness of their importance with regard to the quality of soil fertility.

This book is intended for researchers, students, land users, farmers, politicians, etc. — anyone who wishes to know about the latest advances in research on the microbiological culture of French soils. It is a world first in cartographical precision (16km2 grid squares, 2,200 soils) and the result of 10 years of work carried out by the BioCom research team from the Agroecology Mixed Research Unit in Dijon.

It was essential for CMI Roullier and TIMAC AGRO to be associated with the creation of the first French atlas of soil bacteria. This one of a kind book has been covered by numerous media outlets and was featured on France Inter’s La Tête au carré programme at the beginning of the year.