Effects of biofertilizer containing N-fixer, P and K solubilizers and AM fungi on maize growth: A greenhouse trial

S. C. Wu, Z. H. Cao, Z. G. Li, K. C. Cheung, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

608 Citations (Scopus)


Biofertilizer has been identified as an alternative to chemical fertilizer to increase soil fertility and crop production in sustainable farming. The objective of this greenhouse study was to evaluate the effects of four biofertilizers containing an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus mosseae or Glomus intraradices) with or without N-fixer (Azotobacter chroococcum), P solubilizer (Bacillus megaterium) and K solubilizer (Bacillus mucilaginous) on soil properties and the growth of Zea mays. The application treatments included control (no fertilizer), chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer and two types of biofertilizer. The application of biofertilizer containing mycorrhizal fungus and three species of bacteria significantly increased the growth of Z. mays. The use of biofertilizer (G. mosseae and three bacterial species) resulted in the highest biomass and seedling height. This greenhouse study also indicated that half the amount of biofertilizer application had similar effects when compared with organic fertilizer or chemical fertilizer treatments. Microbial inoculum not only increased the nutritional assimilation of plant (total N, P and K), but also improved soil properties, such as organic matter content and total N in soil. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) had a higher root infection rate in the presence of bacterial inoculation. By contrast, the AMF seemed to have an inhibiting effect on the P-solubilizing bacteria. The nutrient deficiency in soil resulted in a larger population of N-fixing bacteria and higher colonization of AMF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Soil Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Azotobacter chroococcum
  • Bacillus megaterium
  • Bacillus mucilaginous
  • Glomus intraradices
  • Glomus mosseae
  • Greenhouse trial
  • PGPRs
  • Zea mays


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