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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322448

Research Project: Bioproducts from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Utilization of microbes to improve crop production

item Sharon, Judee
item Lee, Charles
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2015
Publication Date: 11/19/2015
Citation: Sharon, J.A., Lee, C.C., Glenn, G.M. 2015. Utilization of microbes to improve crop production. UJNR meeting, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. November 14 - 19, 2015. Meeting Proceedings. 44:29-30.

Interpretive Summary: Phosphorous solubilizing bacteria (PSB) can play an important role in making soil phosphorous more readily available to plants. ARS researchers at the WRRC isolated a PSB that was able to solubilize soil phosphorous at a higher rate than other PSBs previously reported in the literature. Greenhouse tests confirmed that the PSB was able to solubilize phosphorous in a form that plants could use and consequently increase plant growth compared to plants grown in soil without the PSB. Commercial use of PSBs could reduce the amount of phosphorous fertilizer crops need for high yields.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus is one of the three macro nutrients that are essential for plant growth and development. Inorganic phosphorus (P), which can make up to 70% of the total P content in soils, can form complexes with calcium, aluminum, or iron that render the P unavailable for plant use. In these cases, mineral phosphorus, P2O5, is often used as a fertilizer to supplement the nutrient for crop growth. To prevent and reduce the addition of mineral phosphorus to agricultural soils, research in naturally occurring phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms has been happening for decades. This study found bacteria that solubilized phosphate at rates much higher than recorded by other literature in the field. The most efficient of the bacteria presented in this paper, Pantoea sp.Pot 1, can solubilize tricalcium phosphate at a rate of 955.6 mg per liter. Additionally, this bacterium was studied for its sole functionality as an inorganic phosphate solubilizer through laboratory and greenhouse experimentation. Greenhouse experiments show that tomato plants with soil systems containing only tricalcium phosphate for a phosphate source, but inoculated with Pantoea sp. Pot 1 show much higher fresh and dry biomass weights than those plants without any provided phosphate or those provided with only tricalcium phosphate.