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Complex Nitrogen Biofertilizer

#A-1548


Development of the new Production Technology of Ecological Safe Complex Biofertilizer Based on Nitrogen-Fixing Microorganisms and Modified Zeolites

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-FOD/Food & Nutrition/Agriculture
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
10.07.2007

Leading Institute
Scientific and Production Center "Armbiotechnology" NAS RA, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Yerevan State University, Armenia, Yerevan

Collaborators

  • "Al. I. Cuza" Unicersity of Iasi, Romania, Iasi\nFriedrich-Schiller-Universitat / Institut fur Geowissenschaften, Germany, Jena\nAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada, ON, Ottawa\nUniversity of Granada, Spain, Granada\nUniversity of Thessaloniki / Department of Chemistry, Greece, Thessaloniki

Project summary

The suggested proposal relates to agricultural microbiology, fundamental and applied biotechnology and aimed to produce a new biofertilizer for increasing the crops and the quality of cultures, to remediate damaged soil and intensify soil fertility.

Nitrogen-containing feeding is well known as the basic type of nutrition contributing to the agricultural cultures crops. The role of nitrogen fertilizers in comparison with potash and phosphate is significant, since nitrogen is a part of proteins, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, vitamins and other biologically important compounds, i.e. it is a vital element. In optimum dozes mineral nitrogen fertilizers increase plants productivity in 20-40% (and even more with some cultures). However, their intensive exploitation significantly increases dinitrification and biological immobilization of nitrogen. As a result, the utilization coefficient of mineral nitrogen fertilizers decreases and leads both to soil and atmosphere pollution, to cumulating of nitrates in plants followed by nitrites, and at least by carcinogenic nitrosamines. In this aspect, long-term and wide use of mineral nitrogen fertilizers represents a serious problem because the regular intake of these compounds by the organism is the factor of adverse shifts in the human vital activity and health and increase the risk of oncological diseases.

The analysis of soil in various regions of Armenia has shown that chemical fertilizers, particularly nitrogen-containing, used widespread and for a long period led to a catastrophic situation, particularly to full pauperization of soil and to multiple excess of critical concentration of nitrates and nitrites. Thus, the actual problem for the Republic is not only preservation of soil fertility but also decreased harmful substances concentration in soil and, as a result, in foodstuff. This is a global problem, in our opinion, since the similar situation is observed throughout the world.

Nowadays biopreparations based on nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, free-living in soil and in symbiosis with plants, capable to consume molecular nitrogen are obviously preferable as nitrogen fertilizers for plants. Microorganisms of Azotobacteriaceae family play the predominating role in atmospheric nitrogen fixation. It is reported, that on average 30-50 % kg/hectare/per year of digestible nitrogen entered into soil as a result of their activity. The positive effect from additional infection of soil with azotobacter occurs due to excreted growth factors and antibiotics, active against numerous phytopathogenic fungi.

It is shown that zeolites, minerals of volcanic origin, widespread on the territory of Armenia, can be also used in soil improvement and fertilization. The certain properties of zeolites, particularly porosity, cation-exchange capacity and ability to keep moisture, as well as their adsorbing, ion-exchange properties and significant amount of nutrients for plants contribute to their expedient exploration in agriculture. In fact, natural zeolites are natural mineral fertilizers enhancing (up to 50%) the agricultural crops.

The idea of combining nitrogen-fixing microorganisms and zeolites in one preparation is based on our earlier data on stimulating action of zeolites upon growth and propogation of Azotobacter chroococcum. Zeolites were shown to lead to morpho-physiological changes of the strain, to promote increased culture titer and biomass that testified to their effect upon the metabolic activity of Az. chroococcum.

The goal of the project is to develop a new technology for producing complex, ecologically safe biofertilizer, combining advantageous properties of both nitrogen-fixing microorganisms and zeolites and exceeding the efficiency the known bacterial nitrogen fertilizers.

Innovation of the project is in development of the conceptually new technology for producing nitrogen biofertilizer of multiple and prolonged action. This biofertilizer is a complex of high-activity nitrogen-fixing strain of Az.chroococcum, isolated from the soil in Armenia and the local zeolite modified by the new technology considering the specific features of this microorganism.

To achieve the goal of the project the following tasks should be performed:

  • to select the high-activity Az. chroococcum strain via screening of natural isolates by their nitrogenase activity and increased ability to fix atmosphere nitrogen, antibiotic activity towards microorganisms-phytopatogens as well as by their high viability in soil;
  • to obtain the modified zeolite (by a new technology), which differ from the known natural and modified zeolites by its selective, adsorbing and ion-exchange properties;
  • to develop the production technology of a new efficient ecologically safe bi-component biofertilizer for agriculture based on the selected strain and modified zeolite.

The mentioned above tasks will be fulfilled by the corresponding technical approaches and standard methods for nitrogen-fixing microorganisms and zeolites as well as new ones elaborated by the participants and protected by patents of RA.

The scientists of the “Institute of Biotechnology” are experienced in this sphere and have developed the production technology of ecologically safe biopreparation “Azotovit-1” based on the nitrogen-fixing microorganism. The biopreparation “Azotovit-1” is of wide spectrum; it enriches soil with nitrogen and stimulates the plant growth. The biopreparation has been successfully tested with various cultures both in hothouses and in fields at the SCJSC “Scientific Centre of soil science, agrochemistry and melioration”; at the agrochemistry laboratory of Agricultural Academy, RA; at the Joint-Venture “Masis Tobacco”; at the nursery “Armenia Tree Project” as well as at the farms “Green Lane” Agricultural Assistance NGO. The efficiency of the biopreparation “Azotovit-1” in spring treatment of winter wheat was certified by the Foundation for Applied Researches and Agrobusiness with assistance of USDA Marketing Assistance Project in Armenia. CJSC “National Institute of Standards” registered Specification (Specification RA 00479965. 3261-2003) for the liquid biopreparation “Azotovit-1”.

The Institute of Biotechnology in cooperation with YSU has developed the technology for production of biopreparation “BT-melanin” for stimulating plant growth (within the framework of the ISTC project # A-683).

The specialists from YSU have more than 20-years experience in study of zeolite deposits in Armenia aimed to reveal the potential spheres of their exploitation. Within the frames of the ISTC project #A-485 the technology for liquid radioactive wastes treatment with natural adsorbents-alumino-silicates of clinoptilolite type and others of the zeolite group at Armenian nuclear power plant has been developed. A series of new organo-zeolite fertilizers “Zeogum-1” and “Zeogum-2” based on natural zeolites have been produced also.

Production and implementation of the complex biofertilizer will contribute to the national programs in agriculture and environment protection. The expected results will be of economic value: a dual economical benefit will be achieved in providing with the prolongation effect of the biofertilizer and protecting against nutrients washout resulted in reduced NPK and water consumption. The production technology can be developed and implemented on the pilot facility available at the Institute of Biotechnology.

The new biofertilizer will ensure the efficient soil enrichment with nitrogen and is expected to be one more step in solving an urgent global problem of organic agriculture resulted in ecological safe foodstuff.

The preliminary data testify to the universality of the designed technology, which could be efficient in producing similar preparations based on other necessary for soil enrichment microorganisms, particularly phosphorous bacteria, actinomycetes, yeasts, lactic acid bacteria, etc.

The group of executors involves the specialists experienced in microbiology, biotechnology, soil science, agrochemistry, chemistry and geochemistry of zeolites. Chemists-analysts and the experts in modern methods of the physical and chemical analysis will participate in this study also. The majority of executors are "weapon" scientists enabled to redirect their research activity to peaceful activities.

Improved focus and efficiency of R&D activity through information exchange and consultation, cross test-trials and exchange of information with foreign collaborators during project implementation and mutual review of technical reports submitted to ISTC are planned.


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