Can chitosan be a promising carrier for plant growth-boosting bacteria?
05/10/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Researchers from Chungbuk National University in South Korea investigated chitosan and its potential as a carrier of bacteria that promote plant growth. The results of their study were published in the journal Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science.

  • In the study, the researchers immobilized Methylobacterium oryzae CBMB20 – a promising plant growth-promoting bacteria and a biocontrol agent – in different chitosan formulations. They compared wet and dry chitosan with wet and dry alginate in terms of their ability to promote tomato plant growth.
  • The chitosan formulations exhibited better entrapment efficiency and good degradability resistance than alginate formulations.
  • The researchers found that 80 percent of the bacteria survived in wet chitosan even after 90 days of storage at 4 C.
  • In addition, the spermosphere survival of bacteria was high in both dry and wet chitosan formulations applied to soils even after 21 days under greenhouse conditions.
  • While the alginate formulation was degraded fully, the chitosan formulation was degraded only partially. This demonstrated chitosan's ability to support the survival of M. oryzae CBMB20 in soil.
  • Plants inoculated with wet chitosan formulation exhibited a 1.3-fold increase in shoot and root length compared with plants inoculated with alginate formulation.

In conclusion, chitosan can promote plant growth better than alginate and is a better carrier for bacteria that promote plant growth.

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Journal Reference:

Chanratana M, Han GH, Melvin Joe M, Roy Choudhury A, Sundaram S, Halim M. A, Sa T. EVALUATION OF CHITOSAN AND ALGINATE IMMOBILIZED METHYLOBACTERIUM ORYZAE CBMB20 ON TOMATO PLANT GROWTH. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science. 05 March 2018;64(11):1489-1502. DOI: 10.1080/03650340.2018.1440390

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