Co-inoculation of potassium solubilizing and nitrogen fixing bacteria on solubilization of waste mica and their effect on growth promotion and nutrient acquisition by a forage crop

Abstract

Waste mica, a potassium-bearing mineral, is a by-product of mica industry; however, its potassium (K)-supplying capacity for crop production is not well understood. A greenhouse trial was made to study the effect of co-inoculation of potassium solubilizing (Bacillus mucilaginosus) and nitrogen (N) fixing (Azotobacter chroococcum A-41) bacteria on solubilization of waste mica (a potassium-bearing mineral) and their effects on growth promotion and nutrient uptake by a forage crop of sudan grass (Sorghum vulgare Pers.) in a Typic Haplustalf. Results revealed that significantly higher biomass accumulation and nutrient acquisition were obtained in all the pots treated with mica and/or bacterial strain as compared to control. Data indicated that co-inoculation of waste mica with B. mucilaginosus and A. chroococcum A-41 resulted in highest biomass production and nutrient acquisition. Co-inoculation of bacterial strains maintained consistently highest amounts of available K and N in soils even at 150 days of crop growth than other treatments. B. mucilaginosus strain was more effective and potent K solubilizer than A. chroococcum A-41. Thus, co-inoculation of potassium solubilizing and nitrogen fixing bacteria to waste mica could be a promising and alternative option for utilizing this potent source as K fertilizer to crops and maintaining greater nutrients availability in soil. Further studies are necessary to see the effects of these bacterial strains on mobilization of potassium-bearing minerals under field conditions.

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Acknowledgments

The senior author thanks the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India, for providing financial support as Junior Research Fellowship during his research work and the Head, Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, for providing facilities for successful completion of the research works.

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Correspondence to Dipak Ranjan Biswas.

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Basak, B.B., Biswas, D.R. Co-inoculation of potassium solubilizing and nitrogen fixing bacteria on solubilization of waste mica and their effect on growth promotion and nutrient acquisition by a forage crop. Biol Fertil Soils 46, 641–648 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-010-0456-x

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Keywords

  • Potassium-bearing mineral
  • Mica
  • Co-inoculation
  • Bacillus mucilaginosus
  • Azotobacter chroococcum
  • Nutrient acquisition
  • Sudan grass