Potential of biofilmed microbial communities as biofertilisers for maize (Zea mays L.)

Aruni Udugama Vithanage, SA Kulasooriya, Gamini Seneviratne, CL Abayasekara

    Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Maize is one of the most important cereals generally cultivated under rain fed smallholder conditions in Asia. There is an increasing trend in the application of high levels of nitrogen fertilizers to maize as it is a high nitrogen demanding crop. That suppresses nitrogen fixing microorganisms, which play a major role in plant growth and sustaining ecosystems. In agroecosystems, combining nitrogen fixers and fungal species in the form of fungal-bacterial biofilms (FBBs) has been shown to enhance beneficial effects. The current study focused on the effect of developed FBBs on maize seed germination and plant growth. Bacteria and fungi were first isolated from different sources, followed by screening for biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) prior to biofilm formation. Two FBBs (BF1 and BF2) were formed, which had two and seven bacterial species, respectively. Performance of the FBBs was compared with the seven bacterial species in monocultures for nitrogenase activity, seed germination and seedling vigor of maize. The FBBs showed significantly high nitrogenase activity, seed germination and seedling vigor. Further, biofertilizing potential of FBBs was investigated by conducting a greenhouse soil pot experiment under a reduced level of recommended chemical fertilizers (i.e. 50%). The FBBs showed a positive response in terms of total plant dry weight and photosynthetic efficiency. Thus, it seems that the FBBs exert beneficial effects through rhizosphere colonization, which leads to improved plant growth via increased seed germination and photosynthesis. Nitrogen fixation of the FBBs may have contributed to reduce chemical fertilizer requirement, thus sustaining maize plant growth. Further studies under field conditions are required to evaluate the efficacy of the FBBs in maize cultivation. POTENTIAL OF BIOFILMED MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES AS BIOFERTILIZERS FOR MAIZE (ZEA MAYS L.). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250926463_POTENTIAL_OF_BIOFILMED_MICROBIAL_COMMUNITIES_AS_BIOFERTILIZERS_FOR_MAIZE_ZEA_MAYS_L [accessed Sep 25, 2017].
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventIndia-Sri Lanka Conference on Agrobiotechnology for Sustainable Development - , Sri Lanka
    Duration: 11 Mar 201212 Mar 2012


    ConferenceIndia-Sri Lanka Conference on Agrobiotechnology for Sustainable Development
    Country/TerritorySri Lanka


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