Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 135–144 | Cite as

Development of a biofertilizer based on filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria for rice crops in Chile

  • Iris PereiraEmail author
  • Rodrigo Ortega
  • Leticia Barrientos
  • Mario Moya
  • Guissella Reyes
  • Victor Kramm


The purpose of this study was to develop a biofertilizer based on filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria selected from rice fields and to generate a technological package compatible with its use for the rice crop in Chile. Thirty-four Chilean rice fields, located between Maule and BioBío regions, were sampled during the 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 growing seasons. A total of 9 species and 3 varieties of cyanobacteria were found, and the nitrogen fixation rate under laboratory conditions was determined for 6 of them. Only 4 were used for the small-scale production of a biofertilizer, which was assayed in field trials. To check the efficiency of the biofertilizer during the rice crop, the nitrogen fixation rates in soil samples were estimated. Additionally, the biofertilizer application efficiency was tested in combination with nitrogen synthetic fertilizer, in rates that were previously established in field trials. Biofertilization allowed a decrease of up to 50% in the use of nitrogen synthetic fertilizer (50 kg N ha−1), resulting in the same grain yield (7.4 t ha−1) and quality in relation to the fertilized control. The use of biofertilizers based on local strains of cyanobacteria shows promise to increase nitrogen use efficiency in rice.


Biofertilizer Cyanobacteria Decrease use synthetic fertilizer Nitrogen-fixation Rice crop Yield and industrial quality of rice grain 



The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this project from the “Fundación para la Innovación Agraria” (FIA), Chilean Ministry of Agriculture. We also would like to express our gratitude to our research counterparts, Universidad de Talca and INIA Quilamapu. We thank Dr. Mario Tredici, University of Florence, Italy, for his comments during manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iris Pereira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rodrigo Ortega
    • 2
  • Leticia Barrientos
    • 3
  • Mario Moya
    • 1
  • Guissella Reyes
    • 4
  • Victor Kramm
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Biología Vegetal y BiotecnologíaUniversidad de TalcaTalcaChile
  2. 2.Departamento de IndustriasUniversidad Técnica Federico Santa MaríaSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad del Bío-BíoChillánChile
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigaciones AgropecuariasINIA QuilamapuChillánChile

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