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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348074

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Evaluating the influence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria as a bio-fertilizer under different fertility sources

item LIN, YARU - Auburn University
item Watts, Dexter
item KLOEPPER, JOSEPH - Auburn University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2017
Publication Date: 4/13/2017
Citation: Lin, Y., Watts, D.B., Kloepper, J. 2017. Evaluating the influence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria as a bio-fertilizer under different fertility sources [abstract]. Auburn University - This is Research: Student Symposium. April 13, 2017, Auburn, Alabama. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Chemical fertilizers are being extensively used to satisfy the increasing demand for food. However, utilization of chemical fertilizers can be costly and over application for ensuring crop productivity may lead to environmental problems. As a result, interest in using bio-fertilizers to improve soil properties, increase crop nutrient utilization, and potentially offset chemical fertilizer costs has increased in recent years. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), as biofertilizers, have the ability to mediate soil processes such as nitrogen fixation, mineralization, solubilization, and nutrient mobilization, thereby, increasing soil productivity and plant growth. Therefore, a greenhouse study was conducted with a Marvyn loamy sand (fine-loamy, kaolinitic, themic Typic Kanhapludult) to evaluate the effects of PGPR on root establishment and biomass production of maize (Zea mays L.) during the early growth stages using three fertility sources. Treatments included three fertility sources (poultry litter, bio-solids, and urea) at a rate of 168 kg total N ha-1 and five PGPR inoculants (four PGPR strain mixtures and one control without PGPR). Applying poultry litter significantly improved root morphological parameters, and increased plant biomass at the V4, V6, and VT growth stages when compared to the other fertility sources. At the V4 stage, PGPR stimulated root growth and enhanced aboveground biomass with urea and poultry litter, while no differences were observed with PGPR and bio-solids. At the V6 stage, poultry litter, bio-solids, and urea with PGPR significantly increased some growth parameters (e.g., plant height, leaf area, and root morphology). However, at the VT stage, PGPR’s influence on plant growth was minimal regardless of fertility source. Applying the fertilizer sources at a 168 kg N ha-1 rate may have masked PGPR’s influence on maize growth as the plants reached their later vegetative growth stages. Future research is needed to evaluate the influence of PGPR on plant growth when fertility requirements are not optimal.