Soil Biology - Enzymes Part I
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes, in general, are substances that help carry out biochemical reactions within cells by reducing the “action potential” (energy required to initiate a chemical reaction). Enzymes are an essential part of plant and animal metabolism. Without them, specific chemical reactions within the plant, the soil, and everything in between would not be possible or would require the input of tremendous energy by the system!!
Enzymes are created in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are produced during the metabolism of certain microbes. Sometimes they are created during chemical reactions within certain types of cells. Sometimes larger organisms create them in cell matrices by bonding or breaking down proteins. Even larger multicellular and complex organisms create them in their digestive tract. Basically, every organism on every level of complexity either uses enzymes, creates enzymes via their metabolism, or is somehow involved in their general presence.
The use of enzymes in agriculture is so overlooked that most farmers don’t even know that enzymes exist. They have never been sold enzymes and nobody has explained how beneficial they are. There are quite a few reasons for this. Some of these reasons include the quality of enzymes available to farmers. Others include the fact that enzymes are often misused even when they are implemented and the customer sees little/no effect. Over the course of the next couple of entries we will discuss everything about enzymes including what typically available enzymes consist of, what microbially safe and microbially-based means as well as what enzymes can really do for every type of farmer/gardener.
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