Synergistic mycoflora–natural farming mediated biofertilization and heavy metals decontamination of lithospheric compartment in a sustainable mode via Helianthus annuus

  • S. IftikharEmail author
  • M. Saleem
  • K. S. Ahmad
  • S. B. Jaffri
Original Paper


Crop yield augmentation is dependent upon the supply of different nutrients at different stages. Such requirements are fulfilled by synthetic fertilizers marked by considerable environmental deterioration in long term. The current research has for the first time prepared a sustainable biofertilizer comprising of the soils’ inherent microbial pool, natural farming inputs, i.e., organic botanical extracts, fish liquids with the addition of molasses, compost indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) comprising mycoflora (i.e., Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium chrysogenum). The prepared biofertilizer was utilized for the growth enhancement of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) in addition to the heavy metals remediation in the contaminated soils. Selected soils’ and sunflower characterization was done for the determination of nutrient content evaluation and decontamination of heavy metals. IMO isolation was done from pedospheric compartment and was cultured by fermentation of rice with addition of molasses. Randomized block design was used for the greenhouse pot experimentation. Biofertilization potential of IMO was compared with various variations, i.e., single IMO, natural farming inputs and isolated mycoflora. Sunflower treatment with IMO in different variations was done before seed sowing stage by using double concentration at early plantation stage. A remarkable increase in sunflower morphological parameters was indicative of its good remediation potential from the heavy metals contaminated soils. The present results confirm the biofertilization potential of mycoflora–natural farming inputs-based formulation for soil mitigation and crop production. Heavy metal chelation by prepared biofertilizer is a cost-effective, eco-friendly and quick method for sustainable agriculture.


Sustainability Biofertilizers Cash crops Soil quality Mycoremediation NPK solubilization 



Authors want to acknowledge Fatima Jinnah Women University for the provision of the financial and technical support for completion of the current research. Authors also acknowledge National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad, Pakistan, for providing information regarding botanical aspect of the research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesFatima Jinnah Women UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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