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Open AccessArticle

Improvement in Soil Characteristics of Sandy Loam Soil and Grain Quality of Spring Maize by Using Phosphorus Solublizing Bacteria

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Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari Campus, Vehari 61100, Pakistan
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Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha 40100, Pakistan
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Department of Agronomy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan-6600, Pakistan
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Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
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The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, LB 5005 Perth, WA 6001, Australia
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College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Boreal Ecosystem Research Initiative Grenfell Campus, Memorial University 20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL A2H 5G5, Canada
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Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Poonch Rawalakot 12001, AJK, Pakistan
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Crop Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad 44050, Pakistan
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Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247049
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 10 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Unavailability of balanced nutrients in nutrient-deficient soils is the key reason in reduced yields of spring maize. After application to soil, most of the phosphorus (80–90%) is lost in the environment because of runoff losses and chemically bonding. So, this makes the phosphorus unavailable for plant use. However, soil microorganisms may provide a biological rescue system which is able to solubilize the soil-bound phosphorus (p). Keeping this in view, the present study is designed to meet the following objectives; (1) to improve physico-chemical properties of soil (e.g., soil water retention, soil enzyme activities), and (2) to improve growth and yield of spring maize (cv. Hybrid YSM-112) through the inoculation of phosphorus solubilization bacteria (PSB). A pot experiment was carried out with the following treatments; T1: control (uninoculated control, CT), T2: inoculation with PSB (Enterobacter sakazakii J129), T3: recommend level of NPK fertilizers (RNPK), T4: PSB + RNPK fertilizers, T5: rock phosphate (RP), T6: PSB + RP. Results showed that the addition of PSB together with RNPK improved the yield and yield-related characteristics of spring maize grown in sandy soil. Moreover, it also enhanced dry mater characteristics and maize grain quality. Soil fertility in the context of P-solubilization, soil organic acids, soil organic matter, enzyme activities, PSB colony, and rhizosphere moisture contents were significantly improved with PSB inoculation together with recommended dose of NPK fertilizers (RNPK) compared to PSB alone, rock phosphate (RP) alone, or PSB together with rock phosphate and control treatment. Maize digestibility attributes such as DM, CP, CF, EE (by 35%, 20%, 33%, and 28% respectively) and grain quality such as NPK, Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn (by 88%, 92%, 71%, 68%, 78%, 90%, 83, 69%, 92%, 48%, and 90% respectively) were improved compared to control. In conclusion, improvement in maize crop yield and soil characteristics are more prominent and significant when RNPK is supplemented and inoculated. The present study suggests that PSB, together with RNPK, would improve the maize plant growth and soil fertility in sandy soil. View Full-Text
Keywords: maize grain yield; phosphobacteria; phosphorus uptake; water retention; sandy soil maize grain yield; phosphobacteria; phosphorus uptake; water retention; sandy soil
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Javeed, H.M.R.; Qamar, R.; Rehman, A.; Ali, M.; Rehman, A.; Farooq, M.; Zamir, S.I.; Nadeem, M.; Cheema, M.A.; Shehzad, M.; Zakir, A.; Sarwar, M.A.; Iqbal, A.; Hussain, M. Improvement in Soil Characteristics of Sandy Loam Soil and Grain Quality of Spring Maize by Using Phosphorus Solublizing Bacteria. Sustainability 2019, 11, 7049.

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