Plant Growth Promotion

WHO CAN PLANT GROWTH PROMOTION HELP?

Organic farmers
Conservation tillage farming
Farmers working with stressful environments: e.g. drought, salinity, heavy metals
Farmers working near sensitive environments: e.g. rivers and lakes

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

• Improved phosphate availability for the plant
• Reduces need for phosphate fertilizers
• Increased root length and mass: which enhances nutrient uptake and crop establishment
• Enhanced shoot and leaf growth
• Improved plant health and improved ability to deal with environmental stresses
• Promotes sustainable crop production
• Protects the environment from Phosphate run-off to rivers and lakes

RECOMMENDED MicroGen Biotech PRODUCTS?

MBooster™: helps plant to resist stress conditions and enhance crop growth

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The soil is the basis of agriculture and plant life, it is a complex environment which supports a vast diversity of different microbes that make up the Soil Microbiome.

A critically important component of the soil/plant microbiome are Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria or PGPB. Application of PGPB to crops and biofuel plants have been shown to significantly increase crop yield when used in low input agricultural systems. This leads to a reduction in the use of expensive fertilizer and other costs for the farmer and can also reduce the carbon footprint of intensive crop production.

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The mechanisms of plant growth promotion are varied and many PGPB can produce a number of factors including plant hormones such as auxin and gibberellins, promote the acquisition of key nutrients, for example, nitrogen in the form of ammonium through nitrogen fixing PGPB and phosphorous through the solubilisation of both organic and mineral phosphates by PGPB. The ability to alleviate the stress response is an important trait of some PGPB that possess the enzyme Amino-Cyclopropane-Carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase this alters the plant stress hormone ethylene and also can affect other pathways within the plant which can improve the plants resistance to herbivore pests and improve tolerance to salt and drought stress as well as heavy metal contaminants.

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MicroGen Biotech has invested significantly in developing effective and innovative PGPB products that have a scientific basis for their use as bio-products. Our focus has been on isolating endophyte PGPB from within plant tissues such as roots, stems and leaves of healthy plants. These bacteria have a close relationship with their hosts and because of this can more directly promote plant growth compared to traditional inoculum products of soil origin. In addition, we screen our strains for rhizosphere and root colonisation in order to optimise their ability to carry out their plant growth promotion function efficiently. By data mining the genome sequences of our PGPBs we can identify strains with the best combination of traits for a particular application such as the presence of ACC deaminase, Phosphate solubilisation and auxin production co-located within the same strain, for example, or alternatively utilize a consortia of strains with biocontrol activity, phosphate solubilisation and nitrogen fixation.

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The PGPB (Pseudomonas fluorescens) strains used in Mbooster™ were carefully selected for their ability to solubilise inorganic phosphate and make it more available to the plant. The genes encoding these enzymes have been identified and characterised in our strains. Strains also encode an ACC deaminase which has been demonstrated to enhance plant growth (oilseed rape Brassica napus) under stress conditions. When applied to the seed Mbooster™ rapidly colonises the emerging root system and establishes itself over the lifetime of the crop where it produces a phosphate solubilising compound called gluconic acid. In addition, as an endophyte, the strain colonises the internal tissues of the root and stem and can enhance the stress resilience of the plant by producing the enzyme ACC deaminase which modulates the plant response to external stresses (such as heavy metals) and increases root and shoot length and plant health under stress conditions.