Rhizobacteria products development for growth promotion, fungal disease control in corn/sunflower/sugarbeet/soyabean

Microbe products for seedcoating, to increase growth and
crop yield. A strain selection programme for corn,
sunflower, sugarbeet and soyabean

The goal of this project is to develop microbial products for seedcoating which can promote plant growth and consequently increase crop yield. A comprehensive strain selection programme will be conducted for a series of important crop plants for the European seed market: corn, sunflower, sugarbeet and soybean. Recent studies have shown that the root system of plants is intensively colonised by a wide variety of micro-organisms, termed rhizobacteria. While some of these bacteria have no effect on the growth of plants, others have either inhibitory growth or promoting effects. Plant growth promotion might be the result of inhibitory activity of these bacteria towards pathogenic organisms. Seed inoculation with such bacteria could provide a protection of the seedlings against subsequent infection with pathogenic organisms. Recently, impressive successes have been obtained with greenhouse grown plants. Although it has proven more difficult to reproduce similar effects with field grown crop plants, it should be possible to extend the applicability of this technology using rigorous strain selection procedures. The major problem is to identify the most competitive rhizobacterial strains. To this end a powerful strain isolation and selection procedure will be used in which a large number of root samples are analyzed to isolate the most predominant and micro-organisms. Subsequently, candidate strains will be screened in the laboratory and under greenhouse conditions for their capacity to prevent the growth of phytopathogenic fungi. The selected strains will then be evaluated in open field tests. The product development stage will involve optimal formulation of the selected strains as a seed inoculant. The technological spin-offs of this project will be important in that they will provide a solid basis for developing similar products for other crop plants. At a later stage, the use of genetic engineering techniques is envisaged to further improve the growth promoting effects of the selected micro-organisms.
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2 830 000.00€
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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.