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Development of Bacillus safensis-based liquid bioformulation to augment growth, stevioside content, and nutrient uptake in Stevia rebaudiana

Prakash, Jai, Arora, Naveen Kumar
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2020 v.36 no.1 pp. 8
Bacillus safensis, Stevia rebaudiana, bacteria, biofertilizers, crop yield, dairy manure, fertilizer application, flavor, health hazards, liquids, medicinal properties, mineral fertilizers, nitrogen, nutrient uptake, nutrients, phosphorus, plant tissues, pollution, potassium, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, soil, solubilization, stevioside, sugars, sustainable agriculture, zinc
The application of chemical fertilizers to enhance crop production is a major concern due to associated environmental pollution and health hazards. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop an eco-friendly solution to improve crop production and promote sustainable agriculture simultaneously. Stevia rebaudiana is an important medicinal crop being substitute for sugar, superior flavor outline, extensive medicinal properties, and also of agronomic interest. In the present study, bacterium STJP isolated from the rhizospheric soil of S. rebaudiana and identified as Bacillus safensis on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequencing, showed good amount of zinc (4.4 mg/L) and potassium (5.4 mg/L) solubilization. Paneer-whey (a dairy waste) based bioformulation (P-WBF) was developed utilizing isolate B. safensis STJP (accession number NAIMCC TB-2833) and inspected for the quality and ability to enhance the growth, nutrients uptake, and stevioside content in S. rebaudiana. The application of P-WBF displayed a significantly higher concentration (153.12%) of stevioside in S. rebaudiana as compared to control. P-WBF treated Stevia plants showed significantly higher fresh and dry weight as well (as compared to control). Further, enhancement of phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, and zinc uptake in plant tissue was also recorded by application of P-WBF. This study suggests the use of P-WBF based biofertilizer using B. safensis STJP to increase stevioside content in Stevia plant by a nutrient(s) linked mechanism. This novel approach can also be beneficial for utilization of a dairy waste in preparation of bioformulation and, for enhancement of crop yield by an ecofriendly manner leading to sustainable agriculture.