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  EFFECT OF STERILIZATION AND RATES OF DIFFERENT FORMULATION ON NITROGEN MINERALIZATION JOMARIE MANGEG CRISTON A. DAMPILAC CHARLOTTE BAMDIWAN METOSHA TOM ANDRADA SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF DEPARTMENT OF SOIL SCIENCE, BENGUET STATE UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE COURSE SS150 SOIL MICROBIOLOGY ADVISER GENNIE B. SOYON JULY 18, 2018  1 INTRODUCTION Background of the study  Nitrogen is essential, expensive and one of the macronutrients needed by plants but also one of the most deficient nutrients in the soil. To aid the amount needed by the plant for their growth, the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer was being practiced by farmers. This may contribute to high agricultural production, however, not all the nitrogen fertilizer applied to agriculture field stays to nourished crops (Harrison, 2003). Some are washed off by rain or irrigation water (leaching) and cause water pollution, it also causes soil contamination, can kill the beneficial microorganism and its harmful to human and animal health (Gilani, n.d.). Some also volatile and denitrify from the soils (Minogue, 2014). Losses of nitrogen from the soil and plant system not only create an adverse impact on the environment but can reduce soil fertility and plant yield (Cameron et. al., 2013). One of the recommended practice is the application of animal manures, crop residues, and soil organic matter to be the source of nitrogen of plants. But before these organic sources are available to plant, they must be converted to inorganic forms which are called the process of mineralization. Since mineralization takes time and needs biotic and abiotic interaction, inorganic nitrogen has only 2-3% form of nitrate and ammonium and these were directly taken up by plants (Agriculture Solution, 2012). However, when large amounts of crop residue, with high carbon and low Nitrogen content, are incorporated into the soil, immobilization can take place at such a rapid rate that levels of available nitrogen become depleted (Crop Nutrition, 2018) Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes are the most responsible for these processes but abiotic factors (temperature, soil moisture content, soil type) also interact with  2 the transformation of Nitrogen whether inorganic or organic form (Bernhard, 2010). However, the recently proposed regulatory gate hypothesis states that mineralization of native soil organic matter, including nitrogen mineralization, is not regulated by the size, activity or composition of the soil microbial biomass (Kemmitt et al., 2008). This challenges one held theories in the soil microbiology. Importance of the study Mineralization is the process that plants can uptake available nitrogen for their growth. Hence, mineralization takes time and it’s  easily absorbed by the plants. Understanding the factors affecting the mineralization and also the immobilization is a great help to minimize the easily loss of nitrogen in order for the plants not to lack available nitrogen and also to protect the environment for the bad effect of nitrogen (e.g. water contamination). Objectives of the study This study aims to: 1. determine the microbial population on the different media, and 2. determine the effect of rates of formulations on the process of mineralization. 3. determine the effect of sterilization on the process of mineralization. Time and place of the study Incubation, soil analysis, and microbial analysis were conducted at the Soil Science Laboratory College of Agriculture, Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet from June to July 2018.  3  4 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Importance of Nitrogen  Nitrogen constitutes 78% of earth atmosphere and it is a constituent of all living tissues. N is an essential element for life because it is a constituent of DNA and, as such, is a part of the genetic code. 95 to 99% of the potential available N in the soil is in organic forms, either in plant and animal residues. This nitrogen is not available to plants but some can be converted to available forms by microorganisms. The majority of plants available nitrogen is in the inorganic forms ammonium (NH 4 - ) and nitrate (NO 3- ), sometimes called mineral Nitrogen (Crop Nutrition, 2018) and these will be primarily absorbed through fine roots. This uptake can be affected by soil type,  pH, temperature, soil moisture content and time of the year (Layne, 2006). Healthy plants often contain 3-4% of N in their above-ground tissue. Most plants take up nitrogen continuously throughout their lives, and plant nitrogen uptake usually increases as plants increase in size. However, plants with underdeveloped roots often show signs of nitrogen deficiency even when adequate nitrogen is present in the soil. Nitrogen-deficient plants can appear  pale green or yellowish because of inadequate chlorophyll development. Ammonium and nitrate will be utilized by soil microbes and environmental factors to continually cycle and liberate inorganic nutrients back into plant-available form to significantly increase plant nutrient uptake (Bell, 2016; Crop Nutrition, 2018).  Nitrogen Cycle  Nitrogen can go through many transformations in the soil, one of these transformations is called the Nitrogen Cycle and microorganisms are responsible for most of this process.   The heart
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