Strategies for the Exploration and Development of Biofertilizer
Microbial agents have been recognized as biofertilizers and used in the crop production in recent years. These biological agents serve as an alternative way to promote plant growth meanwhile reducing the chemical fertilizer requirements, which move toward a more sustainable management in agriculture. This chapter gives overall concepts and strategies in the exploration and development of biofertilizers. By elucidating the mechanisms involved in the plant growth promotion and conducting bioassay after inoculation with the microorganisms, the superior bacteria may be screened and isolated. Besides, the identification and tracking for the microbial fertilizer through molecular approaches provide useful information regarding their biosafety level and adaptabilities in the soil. The integrated approaches are proposed here to increase the efficiency of the biofertilizers in the rhizosphere: inoculation from a single bacterium to bacterial consortium; from sole microbial agents to a combination of microbial agents, organic fertilizer, or chemical fertilizer (biotech-fertilizer); from fast nutrient-releasing liquid fertilizer and slowly nutrient-releasing solid fertilizer to control-releasing biofertilizer (biowise-fertilizer); and from microbial agents with fertilization activity to multifunctional microbial agents with both fertilization and biocontrol activities. The biofertilizers will be brought into the markets and show huge benefits to the farmers and environments once the limitations in the research, production, and commercialization of these microbial agents have been overcome in the near future.
KeywordsOrganic Fertilizer Chemical Fertilizer Cucumber Mosaic Virus Microbial Agent Potassium Silicate
The research work was kindly supported by grants from the National Science Council of Taiwan, ROC, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, and in part by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, ROC under the ATU plan.
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