In recent years, issues of food safety and its impact on environmental protections have attracted global attention. All around the world most countries have begun to advocate for a reduction in the use of chemical products. In its place, microbial biofertilizers have gradually replaced the dependency on traditional chemical fertilizers, which not only improve the production efficiency of crops, but also enriches the soil and is friendly to the environment and animals.
What Are Biofertilizers?
Rather than harsh chemicals, the ingredients of biofertilizers include active microorganisms. This includes fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, algae, and preparations of dormant spores or metabolites. Most microorganisms come from our natural environment. They can be activated through soil or seed interactions with the rhizosphere, thereby increasing the nutrient availability.
While chemical fertilizers add nutrients to soil, the vast majority is inaccessible to plants with only a fraction of available nutrients released from chemical and biological processes. The scope of biofertilizers helps to nourish the plant with nutrients already present in the soil. In doing this, biofertilizers can promote plant growth, increase yield, control soil-borne disease, and improve the overall quality of the soil and plant.
A Deeper Look
According to microorganisms with different functions, biofertilizers are mainly divided into rhizobia, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), nitrogen-fixing bacteria, phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) like Soluphos SP, and potassium solubilizing bacteria (KSB).
- Rhizobia – Symbiotic association with the root nodules of the leguminous plants. Convert dinitrogen (N2) into ammonia (NH3). Nitrogen fixation helps to increase soil productivity and fertility.
- Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) – Helps plants to grow vigorously under stressful conditions and this leads to an enhanced photosynthetic rate and other gas exchange-related traits, and increased water intake.
- Nitrogen fixing bacteria - Legumes supply nutrients to rhizobia that fix N2 gas from the atmosphere. Since N2 is unavailable for most living organisms, some bacteria can convert N2 into ammonia by the process of nitrogen fixation. These bacteria can be either free-living or form symbiotic associations with plants or other organisms.
- Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) – PSBs can convert both inorganic (Pi) and organic phosphate (Po) readily available to satisfy the requirements of plants via dissolution and absorption. By applying PSBs into the soil reduces soil pH and improving the phosphorous supply, the activity of other beneficial microorganisms such as Rhizobium and Trichoderma is enhanced.
- Potassium solubilizing bacteria (KSB) - Soil bacteria have the capability to allow soil K to be easily available for effective absorption.
How Biofertilizers Work
Microorganisms can decompose a variety of minerals fixed in the soil, making it easier for crops to absorb nutrients and can also produce mutually beneficial relationships with plants. In addition, some beneficial microorganisms will produce effective activities, such as siderophores and indoleacetic acid. Others produce enzymes such as cellulase, ligninase, chitinase, protease, urease, amylase, lipase and pectinases, and more. The beneficial products secreted by these microorganisms are very helpful to the growth of plants, and can also inhibit soil diseases, resist plants from being infected by pests and diseases.
Benefits of Biofertilizers
The benefits of biofertilizers include improved crop yield, reduction of pathogens, their effectiveness in semi-arid conditions, the improvement they offer to the environment, and their cost efficiency. They can be applied as soil treatments, foliar treatments, seed treatments, and root drippings.
If you’d like to learn more about biofertilizers visit the pages for these popular ones.
Superzyme is a natural growth promoter that contains a group of beneficial microorganisms and selected enzyme complexes. Superzyme helps provide a toolbox of energy sources for the plant such as stimulate increasing phosphorous solubility and fixing nitrogen from the air.
Soluphos SP is a powder form phosphate solubilizing microbial inoculant containing microbial food, Bacillus lichenifornis, Pseudomonas putida. Both B. licheniformis and P. putida help to free the locked phosphate in the soil and have it readily available to the plants which in return helps the plants to enhance their growth and improves plant yield.