The First International Symposium

The Great success of the 1st International Symposium

The symposium, which took place March 1, 2021, for the first time online, was focused on Cool Earth via Microbes in Agriculture. With more than 700 registrations and 542 attendees from 27 countries, top international researchers discussed how to prevent global warming by optimizing carbon and nitrogen cycling and shared the trends in research on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural lands by leading international research institutes.


・Disseminating innovative research strategies that balance agricultural production and global environmental conservation.
・Japan, France, and the EU research collaborations on developing technologies for the mitigation of greenhouse gases from agricultural land, soil, and microbiological research.


Top international researchers from Japan, France, and the EU.

Kiwamu Minamisawa

Moonshot Goal 4 project manager,
Tohoku University

Laurent Philippot

French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE)

Marta Goberna

The National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA)

Xavier Le Roux

French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France

Akihiko Okada

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan

Hiroko Akiyama

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Japan

Claire Chenu

French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France


Lars Bakken
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Rota Wagai
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Japan

Daisuke Shibata
Tohoku University, Japan

Barbara Reinhold-Hurek
University of Bremen, Germany

Kazuyuki Yagi 
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Japan

Questions and Answers

Does the process or the occupancy change during different stress conditions?

Yes. it is. However, we do not know the factors so far.

How this idea is introduced and implemented on the ground so that the farmers gain benefit while contributing to the GHG mitigation.

GHG credits are required for farmers to gain benefits of reducing GHGs.

I think that the objective to update soil data is very important, are you planning to organize this project in a way that allows for periodical updates? (e.g. every 10 years or so)

We will update soil data within the program lifetime (5 years). After, we plan to deliver our finished products (maps..) and link to databases to ESDAC and JRC, so that it can continue

How are private sectors or companies involved in the sustainable Agricultural programs in EU or European countries and Japan?

I agree with you that ESG investment will be very important. Also, in the next stage of MS project, collaboration with private sectors would be needed.

This is basic science may be beneficial how it is can be competitive in the commercial farming community if it meant it can be used for existing practice? i.e. Composting or inoculant for seeding? Without sacrificing economics, there may be a workable solution combined with optimizing biomass and porous science.

Yes. Inoculation of Bradyrhizobia is common in the world. Normally, Bradyrhizobia inoculate to seeds. As you said, carriers are very important. So, we are investing them through works on artificial soil aggregates.

Does the Bradyrhizobium have the risk to change the local microbial community?

Bradyrhizobium is normal soil bacteria, which has also history to use inoculants for 130 years in North and South America. So, inoculation is not a risk when we use wild-type strains.

Does this project include mangrove areas? Mangroves are very important for C cycle.

The project does not deal with mangroves, because we have no mangroves in Europe. External calls may do so, though.

As you mentioned that the measures chosen to increase SOC are very diverse among EJP SOIL 24 countries.
Could you explain how each country chose the priority of measures? It is also interesting that only Norway chose biochar. Any reason that other countries are lowering the priority of biochar.

The countries selected the measures as a function of their own context and priorities. These 13 studies are completely independent. For example, Spain selected no-till probably because of the interest also, in dry climates of conservation agriculture. Biochar is very costly so far. This probably explains why only Norway focused on it.

Do you mean the N2OR can catalyze CO2 also? Sorry if I miss that point in your presentation?

N2OR is a specific enzyme to N2O reduction.

You spoke of temporal dimensions, but how do you consider the spatial dimensions, i.e, do you consider full profile mechanisms including the SUBSOIL? Sorry if I missed this point in your presentation.

In the reviewing activities we plan to retrieve data from whole soil profiles, when available. In our sampling, we will collect two soil depths, but we still need to define the layers that we will sample (this will be decided in the kick-off meeting this week).

Long term experiment is complex for the soil science. In your experience, what are the most challenge issues we need to take into consideration conducting this long term project to handle the complexity and dynamic changes from the uncontrollable factors?
Especially in terms of data collection…to ensure the validity of the result.

In my experience, it’s very relevant to measure a large collection of soil factors together with other more general parameters (climate, crops), and that is what we are planning to do. Also, we will adjust the sampling time to crop phenology across field experiments.
In this respect, we have prepared a very detailed protocol for collecting soil samples, to ensure that all experiments will strictly follow the same guidelines. We are going to exchange soil samples so that each soil parameter will be analysed in a single lab to avoid inter-lab differences. Thanks for your comments

Can I think the microbes just reduce N2O in soil (deeper or around), not in the air? In the other words, can N2O reduction microbes absorb N2O from the air?

I don’t think that N2O in the air is available to soil microorganisms, it has to be in the soil to have a good chance to be reduced.

What could be the potential way to address the N2O reduction in plant-soil system?

We are trying to develop methods to increase nosZ+ or nosZ++ inoculation to increase N2O reduction. Please see Akiyama et al. (2016) DOI: 10.1038/srep32869

Can you explain more what is VISIT model? Can you estimate reduction by MS project?

1) For VISIT model, please read Ito et al. (2018) Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from soil surfaces and their historical changes in East Asia: a model-based assessment
2) Dr Ito and Dr Nishina are trying to estimate mitigation potential by using VISIT model.

From Participant: FYI, N2O emission scheme in VISIT model follows the model developed by Parton et al. (1996). The concept is a kind of classical leaky pipe model (N2O is produced by nitrification and denitrification processes). Kazuya NISHINA (NIES)

VISIT Model – is there a citation for this model?

When you are talking about CH4 reduction project, you mentioned CH4 oxidation, which produces CO2.
I heard that CO2 has less greenhouse effect than CH4 so this project will be effective. But I’m just curious about whether it is impossible to suppress microbial CH4 producing activities.

1) CO2 produced via CH4 oxidation is originally from photosynthesis of rice plant, so it is C neutral.
2) Well-studied mitigation options for CH4 emissions (water management and straw management) are methods to suppress microbial CH4 production by controlling O2 or C source.

Do you think that the legacy effect would let inoculum can survive for a longer time in the second or repeated inoculation(s)?

This is what we are currently working on! (and thanks for your nice comment)

We hope to see you at the next event! 

Tohoku University dSOIL project
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