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EFFECTIVENESS OF DIAMMONIUM PHOSPHATE IMPREGNATED WITH PSEUDOMONAS PUTIDA FOR IMPROVING MAIZE GROWTH AND PHOSPHORUS USE EFFICIENCY.

Byline: S. Noor, M. Yaseen, M. Naveed and R. Ahmad

ABSTRACT

Use efficiency of soil applied phosphatic fertilizers in calcareous soils is less than 25%. Phosphorus from these fertilizers becomes fixed or precipitated by Ca+2 and Mg+2 in such soils. This efficiency can be improved by using phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria (PSB). A pot study was conducted to investigate the comparative impact of different levels of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer impregnated with Pseudomonas putida biotype A (Q7) on growth attributes and phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) of maize in comparison to conventionally used DAP fertilizer. The culture of pre-isolated phosphate solubilizing bacterial strain Q7 was used to impregnate phosphatic fertilizers with the help of molasses used as carbon source. In general, microbial inoculation is known to be effective for enhancing nutrient use efficiency. However, results showed that impregnated phosphatic fertilizer (DAP) improved maize growth and dry matter yield up to 12% over conventional DAP fertilizer.

Use efficiencies of impregnated DAP i.e. up to 62% increase of agronomic efficiency and 8% increase of physiological efficiency over control. Similarly, phosphors uptake was also increased with impregnated DAP by 33% over conventional DAP application. Results may imply that impregnation of DAP fertilizer could be a novel approach for improving growth and P - use efficiency of maize crop.

Keywords: Impregnation, maize, DAP, PUE, Pseudomonas putida.

INTRODUCTION

Low use efficiency (UE) is the major drawback of phosphorus in all soils particularly in calcareous soils. In these soils, applied inorganic P immediately precipitated with Ca+2 and Mg+2 (Pradhan and Sukla, 2005; Aziz et al., 2016) and thus lead to low productivity of crops. Without use of inorganic P, it is impossible to get target yield from a cereal crop. This inefficient use of inorganic P will emerge as root cause of persistent low yield. A decrease in the use of inorganic P is taken as an alarming sign for low production by all researchers (Yaseen et al., 2014).

In Pakistan, maize is the 3rd most important cereal crop and mostly cultivated on calcareous soils. Due to high pH and low organic matter, about 90% of these soils are deficient in P (Ahmad and Rashid, 2004).

Maize production per unit area in Pakistan is still less than the neighboring countries. This is due to low PUE (90% of arable lands) are calcareous in nature with pertaining situations of high pH, low organic matter (< 1%), extensive farming without proper crop rotation (NFDC, 2003; Aulakh, 2010). All these factors are the big constrains for low productively potential of maize in Pakistan as P is the 2nd most critical macronutrients and any reduction in its application causes an incredible reduction in yield. So, the only way to put off such great losses is to make chemical P fertilizers more efficient. Microbes can play important role in increasing nutrient use efficiency (Trolove et al., 2003, Lucy et al., 2004). Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) have the potential to solubilize unavailable soil P mainly by chelation-mediated mechanism (Shahroona et al., 2007a).

These bacteria enhance the P availability to plants by mineralizing organic P in the soil or by solubilizing precipitated phosphates (Parani and Saha, 2012). In the present study, we evaluated the potential of P. putida for improving growth and P use efficiency of fertilizer and making P fertilizers.

Better root growth is considered as prerequisite for healthy plant growth. Ion uptake, soil nutrient supply and root morphology had consistently indicated the importance of root morphology parameters in the uptake of a variety of nutrients especially N, P and K (Barber and Silverbush, 1984; German et al., 2000). The plant root development was affected by the application of phosphate solubilizing bacteria (Shaharoona et al., 2006a). External application of PSB with fertilizers enhanced soluble P in the solution and this had a positive impact on root growth (Shaharoona et al., 2007). Root growth is not only sensitive to external concentration of nutrients but also regulated by plant growth regulating substances, such as auxins (Salisbury, 1994) and ethylene (Arshad and Frenkenberger, 2002).

The root development and plant biomass were correlated with the higher availability of P; moreover, the beneficial effects of applied bacteria have been attributed to their ability to produce various compounds such as phytohormones, vitamins and siderophores (Arshad and Frankenberger, 1993). Results of this study revealed that pots having addition of impregnated DAP could make more biomass by accelerating photosynthesis rate (Cleyet-Marcel et al., 2001; Khalid et al., 2004) as improved chlorophyll content are the evidence for this regard. The pH of the soil tightly regulated the P availability and whenever PSB are applied in soils, these release organic acids and acid phosphatase that are involved in mineralization of organic P in soils (Reddy et al., 2002; Fernandez et al., 2007). The activity of acids and enzymes result in acidification of microbial cell and its surrounding.

The temporary acidic surroundings in alkaline soils enhanced availability of P to plants that also influenced the uptake of other nutrients (Grichko and Glick, 2001; Dobbelaere et al., 2003). Thus, it can be assumed that root growth in term of more biomass can be obtained if PSB like Bacillus sp. and Pseudomonas sp. are inoculated into soil low in P status because these strains are responsible for more P solubilization and more nutrient and water uptake (Khan, 2005). Several researchers have used different Pseudomonas species as a bioinoculant for improving crop productivity (Zaida et al., 2003; Naveed et al., 2008; Shaharoona et al., 2008). Phosphorus use efficiency was increased in response to fertilizer impregnation (Table 3), most likely due to increased root growth that exploited more soil volume for efficient uptake of nutrients by plants, resulting in more biomass production.

In addition, the maximum PUE was recorded under low level P (i.e. 50% of recommended P), these results are also supported by Shaharoona et al. (2007). This improvement in P use efficiency occurred might be due to P solubilizing potential of P. putida biotype A (Q7) impregnated on DAP fertilizer granules. This strain of Pseudomonas made P available to plants for uptake either chelating newly added P or solubilizing precipitated P in the soil. As the P. putida biotype A (Q7) was impregnated over DAP, so the chelating mechanism might be predominant for the higher P use efficiency in maize. This improvement in P efficiency caused an increase in plant growth. This improvement in plant growth (Tables 1 and 2) might be due to P mediated N or K uptake because corresponding increase in uptakes of N and K also occurred as uptake of P improved (Figure 2).

When P availability with other essential nutrients is increased due to PSB, then the improvement in growth and developmental processes occurred (Cakmakci et al., 2005), that caused improvement in plant biomass. These PSB caused more nutrient uptake by plants by the action of chelating substances (Puente et al., 2004). The PSB also indirectly influence N uptake by plant by controlling the P concentration in soil (Reed and Glick, 2004). That is why; there was more N concentration in plant shoots where more P concentration in shoot due to addition of PSB with fertilizers (Jodie et al., 2006). In short, impregnation of phosphatic fertilizers was effective even at reduced rates of chemical fertilizers. Further research is needed to explore the potential of impregnated phosphatic fertilizers in different agro ecological zone under field conditions. The research work should be extended for field recommendations and consistent yield increase.

Acknowledgement: The research work reported in this manuscript is part of the Ph.D dissertation funded by HEC under Indigenous Scholarship Program.

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Publication:Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences
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Date:Oct 31, 2017
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