Escudo de la República de Colombia Escudo de la República de Colombia


Soil microbial ecology deals with the study of the influence of the soil microbial community on the functionality of soil ecosystem. From an agricultural point of view, this topic has become increasingly interesting, due to the great knowledge accumulated in relation to the effect of this community on the maintenance of fertility and soil health and therefore on crop productivity. This condition occurs as a result of the role of microorganisms in biogeochemical cycles, improvement of soil structure, natural control of plant diseases, promotion of plant growth and degradation of organic pollutants. Despite the great advances in this regard, the specific functions carried out by microorganisms in the environment, is not fully understood. Therefore, different research groups in the world have focused on the application of different approaches to identify specific biomarkers at different taxonomic levels that allow the design of crop management strategies to improve the performance of soil microbial community, for the benefit of plant growers.


Recognizing the importance of understanding and manipulating microbial soil communities as a tool to improve crop yields, the aim of this course will be to provide an up-to-date view of the approaches and concepts that have recently been developed to understand the role of the soil microbial community, with emphasis on three main themes: understanding the role of rhizospheric microbiome in biogeochemical cycles and recycling of nutrients and their effect on the agricultural ecosystem; Communication between kingdoms in the symbiotic relationship plant-microorganism employing diazotrophic bacteria; And the ecology and function of endophytic bacteria. These notions will be developed, in order to contribute to the understanding of the implications of applying concepts of microbial ecology, for the development of strategies of agricultural management including the application of inoculants for the improvement of the nutrition of plants of agricultural interest.


The course will be held between 23th – 27th of October.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


This course will be held within a five days structure with morning (theoretical) and afternoons (practical – limited  space) sessions.

Invited speakers conferences will be held during morning sessions and then during mornings also some selected students will be invited to give a small presentation of their research projects in order to share with speakers and the audience.

Afternoon sessions will have lab. practic on selected topics:

  • Functional characterization of microbial inoculants.
  • Analysis of quorum sensing communication using biosensors.
  • Soil enzymatic activities.
  • Microbial bioprocesses.

Practical sessions will be available for around 30 students and theoretical sessions will be held for between 120 students.

Theoretical Subjects

-       Impact of land-use changes on microbial succession.

-       Importance of core microbiome for agriculture.

-       Introduction to the “Omics” in the study of soil microbial ecology and functioning.

-       Roles of soil microbial communities on N and C cycles with emphasis in agricultural soils.

-       Metagenomic and metasecretomic on the degradation of soil organic matter.

-       Bacterial cell-cell communication in plant associated bacteria.

-       Interkingdom communication to improve symbiotic plant microbial relationship

-       Genetic analysis of a rhizobial-plasmid-mobilome model.

-       Ecology and function of endophytic bacteria.