GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Anaerobic - From Greek, literally, "without oxygen." An anaerobe does not require oxygen to sustain its metabolic processes.  Aerobic organisms live in the presence of oxygen.

Beneficial Organism - An organism that benefits the growing process. This is specific to the plant and soil conditions necessary for its health.

Biofilm - A group of colonizing microorganism cells which stick to each other on surfaces and perform metabolic functions.

Commensalism - Commensal species obtain nutrients, shelter, support and/or locomotion from the host species, which is substantially unaffected.

Concomitant - Naturally Accompanying, and/or following in succession. Specifically referring to microorganisms in multiple phase fermentation. 

Consortium - A fellowship, association or society. An agreement, combination or group formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.

Entrainment - The synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm.

Exudates - Plant roots exude acids, sugars, polysaccharides and ectoenzymes.

Facultative Anaerobe - Organisms that, if oxygen is present, produce Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP, by aerobic respiration. If oxygen is absent, facultative anaerobes are capable of switching to fermentation or anaerobic respiration.  Obligate anaerobes die in the presence of oxygen.

Fermentation - A metabolic process which converts sugars to acids, gases and/or alcohol. Human use dated to Neolithic Age.

Inoculant - The active material used in the introduction of microorganisms into a culture medium.

Inorganic - Not containing carbon. Organic compounds come from plants or other living materials.

Lactic Acid - Organic acid and preservative which inhibits the growth of spoilage agents and aids in fermenting carbohydrates.

Lactic Acid Bacteria - Probiotic bacteria that convert glucose and sucrose into lactic acid. Main genera: Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, and other Lactobacillales.

Macronutrients - Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium are the major nutrients plants use large amounts of for growth. Also, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur.

Microbiome - The ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that share an environmental niche; the combined genetic material of an environment.

Micronutrients - elements essential for plant growth, but only needed in small quantities. These are Boron, Chloride, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc.

Mineral Nutrients - The common elements required by living organisms. Non-mineral elements are hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.

Mutualism - The way in which two organisms of different species exist in a relationship in which each individual benefits.

Mycorhizzal Association - Fungus colonize the host plant's roots, intracellularly or extracellulary. Involved in nitrogen, sugar, water and mineral exchange, and resistance to disease, pests and toxicity.

Phototrophic Organisms - Most phototrophs employ photosynthesis to anabolically convert carbon dioxide into organic material, and assist in carbon assimilation/carbon fixation.

Probiotic - The friendly beneficial microflora, which produce enzymes and proteins that kill harmful microorganisms are key players in immune systems. Crucial for digestive and immune health.

Rhizosphere - The proximate region around roots where most nutrient cycling and disease suppression occurs. Plants secrete different root exudates to cultivate specific sets of microorganisms.

Soil Conditioner - Added to improve soil structure, water retention, cation exchange and soil's ability to provide nutrition for plants.

Soil Structure - Compaction, loft and texture.

Sticking Agent - Spreading, sticking or wetting agents are typically surfactants used to reduce surface tension to assist the adherence of agrochemical application. Here WT uses the term sticking agent in reference to microbial biofilms and the glues active microorganisms produce, which improve tenacity, length of adherence and resistance to wind and water.

Symbiosis - State of living together. A cooperative relationship and living arrangement between organisms, specifically different species, including commensalism, mutualism and parasitism.

Syntrophy - cross-feeding; one species living off the products of another species. This is different from syntropy, which is most simply described as a self-unifying systems principle.

Tilth - The physical condition of soil in relation to plant growth.

Vermicast - The product or process of composting with earthworms, usually red wrigglers and white worms, to create water soluble, nutrient-dense organic material and worm castings to be used as a soil conditioner.