Innovative in planta enrichment platform to select efficient biostimulant and biocontrol microorganisms

01 January 2018 → 28 February 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

This research project originates from the apparent shortcomings of biostimulant and biocontrol
strains to perform adequately in interaction with the crop under field conditions. Our research
hypothesis is that the current strategy in acquiring these bio-inocula is fundamentally flawed, as a
critically important trait of effective bio-inocula is ignored: efficient root colonization of the
competitive rhizosphere environment of a host plant. The newly proposed selection procedure can
be tailored towards a variety of biostimulant and biocontrol traits and host plants.
A novel in planta enrichment platform for the selection of biosimulants and biocontrol
rhizobacteria is developed, deepened and validated with maize and wheat as host plants in an
attempt to demonstrate its broad range of applications. As biostimulants, we chose to focus on
phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) bearing in mind the urgency of phosphorus related problems
in agriculture. As a biocontrol inoculum, we chose to work towards inocula active against
Rhizoctonia (maize) and Gaeumannomyces (wheat). The platform will be used to provide insight
into whether it is possible to develop either a culture specific vs. a generalistic bio-inoculant which
can be applied to different types of crops. This is of strategic importance to bio-inocula producers
for product portfolio development. Additionally, the obtained and optimized consortia will be
defined and the efficacy of the consortia will be tested in pot trials.