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Article

Soil Type-Dependent Interactions of P-Solubilizing Microorganisms with Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers Mediate Plant Growth Promotion in Tomato

1
Institute of Crop Science (340h), Universität Hohenheim, Fruwirthstraße 20, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
2
School of Agriculture and Technology, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani P. O. Box 214, Ghana
3
Institute of Bioanalytical Sciences, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, 06406 Bernburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2018, 8(10), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100213
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Mineral Nutrition: Principles and Perspectives)
The use of plant growth-promoting microorganisms (PGPMs) as bio-effectors (BEs) to improve the nutrient acquisition of crops has a long history. However, limited reproducibility of the expected effects still remains a major challenge for practical applications. Based on the hypothesis that the expression of PGPM effects depends on soil type and the properties of the applied fertilizers, in this study, the performance of selected microbial inoculants was investigated for two contrasting low-fertility soils supplied with different organic and inorganic fertilizers. Greenhouse experiments were conducted with tomato on an alkaline sandy loam of pH 7.8 and an acidic loamy sand of pH 5.6 with limited phosphate (P) availability. Municipal waste compost, with and without poultry manure (PM), rock phosphate (RP), stabilized ammonium, and mineral nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilization were tested as fertilizer variants. Selected strains of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (Priest et al. 1987) Borriss et al. 2011 (FZB42) and Trichoderma harzianum Rifai (OMG16) with proven plant growth-promoting potential were used as inoculants. On both soils, P was identified as a major limiting nutrient. Microbial inoculation selectively increased the P utilization in the PM-compost variants by 116% and 56% on the alkaline and acidic soil, while RP utilization was increased by 24%. This was associated with significantly increased shoot biomass production by 37–42%. Plant growth promotion coincided with a corresponding stimulation of root growth, suggesting improved spatial acquisition of soluble soil P fractions, associated also with improved acquisition of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and calcium (Ca). There was no indication for mobilization of sparingly soluble Ca phosphates via rhizosphere acidification on the alkaline soil, and only mineral NPK fertilization reached a sufficient P status and maximum biomass production. However, on the moderately acidic soil, FZB42 significantly stimulated plant growth of the variants supplied with Ca–P in the form of RP + stabilized ammonium and PM compost, which was equivalent to NPK fertilization; however, the P nutritional status was sufficient only in the RP and NPK variants. The results suggest that successful application of microbial biofertilizers requires more targeted application strategies, considering the soil properties and compatible fertilizer combinations. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-effector (BE); compost; tomato; phosphate mobilization; phosphorus recovery efficiency (PRE); poultry manure (PM); biofertilizer; nitrogen; Trichoderma harzianum; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 bio-effector (BE); compost; tomato; phosphate mobilization; phosphorus recovery efficiency (PRE); poultry manure (PM); biofertilizer; nitrogen; Trichoderma harzianum; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mpanga, I.K.; Dapaah, H.K.; Geistlinger, J.; Ludewig, U.; Neumann, G. Soil Type-Dependent Interactions of P-Solubilizing Microorganisms with Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers Mediate Plant Growth Promotion in Tomato. Agronomy 2018, 8, 213. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100213

AMA Style

Mpanga IK, Dapaah HK, Geistlinger J, Ludewig U, Neumann G. Soil Type-Dependent Interactions of P-Solubilizing Microorganisms with Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers Mediate Plant Growth Promotion in Tomato. Agronomy. 2018; 8(10):213. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100213

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mpanga, Isaac K., Harrison K. Dapaah, Joerg Geistlinger, Uwe Ludewig, and Günter Neumann. 2018. "Soil Type-Dependent Interactions of P-Solubilizing Microorganisms with Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers Mediate Plant Growth Promotion in Tomato" Agronomy 8, no. 10: 213. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100213

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