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Biochar and flyash inoculated with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria act as potential biofertilizer for luxuriant growth and yield of tomato plant

Tripti,, Kumar, Adarsh, Usmani, Zeba, Kumar, Vipin, Anshumali,
Journal of environmental management 2017 v.190 pp. 20-27
Bacillus (bacteria), Burkholderia, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, agrochemicals, biochar, biofertilizers, biomass, crop yield, flowers, fly ash, human health, industrial wastes, inoculum, mineral fertilizers, plant growth, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, seed germination, seeds, soil, soil degradation, soil fertility, soil quality, storage time, tomatoes, toxicity, viability, waste management
Overuse of agrochemical fertilizers alarmingly causes deterioration in soil health and soil-flora. Persistence of these agrochemicals exerts detrimental effects on environment, potentially inducing toxic effects on human health, thus pronouncing an urgent need for a safer substitute. The present study investigates the potential use of agricultural and industrial wastes as carrier materials, viz. biochar and flyash, respectively, for preparation of bioformulations (or biofertilizers) using two plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, Bacillus sp. strain A30 and Burkholderia sp. strain L2, and its effect on growth of Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. (tomato). The viability of strains was determined based on colony forming units (cfu) count of each bioformulation at an interval of 60 days for a period of 240 days. Seeds were coated with different carrier based bioformulations and pot experiment(s) were carried out to access its effects on plant growth parameters. Biochar based bioformulations showed higher cfu count and maximum viability for strain L2 (107 cfu g−1) at 240 days of storage. Maximum percentage of seed germination was also observed in biochar inoculated with strain L2. Significant (p < 0.05) increase in plant growth parameters (dry and fresh biomass, length, number of flowers) were ascertained from the pot experiment and amongst all bioformulations, biochar inoculated with strain L2 performed consistently thriving results for tomato yield. Furthermore, post-harvest study of this bioformulation treated soil improved physico-chemical properties and dehydrogenase activity as compared to pre-plantation soil status. Overall, we show that prepared biochar based bioformulation using Burkholderia sp. L2 as inoculum can tremendously enhance the productivity of tomato, soil fertility, and can also act as a sustainable substitute for chemical fertilizers. In addition, mixture of biochar and flyash inoculated with strain L2 also showed noteworthy results for the growth parameters and yield, and future studies are required to strengthen flyash utilization as carrier materials to resolve its disposal problem and waste management.