Biofertilizers: A Sustainable Eco-Friendly Agricultural Approach to Crop Improvement

  • Ranjan Kumar Sahoo
  • Deepak Bhardwaj
  • Narendra Tuteja


Fertilizers play an important role in enhancing crop productivity. However, chemical fertilizers are expensive, non-eco-friendly, cause eutrophication, reduce organic matter and microbiotic activity in soil and are hazardous to health. Therefore, the use of biofertilizers is desirable as they are natural, biodegradable, organic and more cost-effective than chemical fertilizers. Biofertilizers consist of plant remains, organic matter and some special class of micro-organisms. Biofertilizers help to increase quality of the soil by providing nutrients and natural environment in the rhizosphere. The micro-organisms present in biofertilizers are important because they produce nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients required for benefit of the plants. Most biofertilizers also secrete hormones like auxins, cytokinins, biotins and vitamins which are essential for plant growth. Biofertilizers give protection to plant by secreting antibiotics which are effective against many plant pathogens. Biofertilizers also protect plant from salinity and drought stress. Biofertilizers are inexpensive and safe inputs which provide a wide scope for research in the areas of organic farming and development of stress-free environment. Overall, the significant role of biofertilizers in plant growth productivity and protection against some stresses makes them a vital and powerful tool for organic and sustainable agriculture. This article describes various kinds of biofertilizers and their impact on different crops. The various biofertilizers which are described in this chapter are Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Rhizobium, Blue green algae, phosphorus and potassium solubilizing micro-organisms and Mycorrhizae. Vermicomposting and a possible mechanism of action of various biofertilizers have also been described.


Rock Phosphate Inorganic Fertilizer Panicle Length Azospirillum Brasilense Phosphate Solubilizing Bacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjan Kumar Sahoo
    • 1
  • Deepak Bhardwaj
    • 1
  • Narendra Tuteja
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Plant Molecular BiologyInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)New DelhiIndia

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