Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 99, Issue 12, pp 4983–4996 | Cite as

Unexploited potential of some biotechnological techniques for biofertilizer production and formulation

  • N. Vassilev
  • M. Vassileva
  • A. Lopez
  • V. Martos
  • A. Reyes
  • I. Maksimovic
  • B. Eichler-Löbermann
  • E. Malusà


The massive application of chemical fertilizers to support crop production has resulted in soil, water, and air pollution at a global scale. In the same time, this situation escalated consumers’ concerns regarding quality and safety of food production which, due to increase of fertilizer prices, have provoked corresponding price increase of food products. It is widely accepted that the only solution is to boost exploitation of plant-beneficial microorganisms which in conditions of undisturbed soils play a key role in increasing the availability of minerals that otherwise are inaccessible to plants. This review paper is focused on the employment of microbial inoculants and their production and formulation. Special attention is given to biotechniques that are not fully exploited as tools for biofertilizer manufacturing such as microbial co-cultivation and co-immobilization. Another emerging area includes biotechnological production and combined usage of microorganisms/active natural compounds (biostimulants) such as plant extracts and exudates, compost extracts, and products like strigolactones, which improve not only plant growth and development but also plant-microbial interactions. The most important potential and novel strategies in this field are presented as well as the tendencies that will be developed in the near future.


Biofertilizers Co-cultivation Solid-state fermentations Co-immobilization Phytostimulants 



This work was supported by Project CTM2011-02779 and CTM2014-53186-R (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, España) and the Polish Innovation Economy Operational Program, contract N. UDA-POIG.01.03.01-10-109/08-00.


The review has not been published before and is not under consideration for publication anywhere else. The manuscript has been approved by all co-authors.

Compliance with ethical standards/ethical statement

Conflict of interest

N. Vassilev has received Project Grants (CTM2011-02779 and CTM2014-53186-R) from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. E. Malusà has received a grant from the EU Regional Development Fund through the Polish Innovation Economy Operational Program, contract N. UDA-POIG.01.03.01-10-109/08-00. These authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Vassilev
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Vassileva
    • 2
  • A. Lopez
    • 2
  • V. Martos
    • 3
  • A. Reyes
    • 2
  • I. Maksimovic
    • 4
  • B. Eichler-Löbermann
    • 5
  • E. Malusà
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of BiotechnologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Plant PhysiologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  4. 4.University of Novi SadNovi SadRepublic of Serbia
  5. 5.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  6. 6.Institute of HorticultureSkierniewicePoland

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