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Sustaining Rice Production through Biofertilization with N2-Fixing Cyanobacteria

AuthorsIniesta-Pallarés, Macarena; Álvarez, Consolación CSIC; Gordillo-Cantón, Francisco M.; Ramírez-Moncayo, Carmen; Alves-Martínez, Pilar; Molina-Heredia, Fernando P. CSIC ORCID; Mariscal, Vicente CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2021
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationApplied Sciences, 11(10): 4628 (2021)
AbstractCurrent agricultural productivity depends on an exogenous nutrient supply to crops. This is of special relevance in cereal production, a fundamental part of the trophic chain that plays a vital role in the human diet. However, our agricultural practices entail highly detrimental side-effects from an environmental point of view. Long-term nitrogen fertilization in croplands results in degradation of soil, water, and air quality, producing eutrophication and subsequently contributing to global warming. In accordance with this, there is a biotechnological interest in using nitrogen-fixing microorganisms to enhance crop growth without adding chemically synthesized nitrogen fertilizers. This is particularly beneficial in paddy fields, where about 60% of the synthetic fertilizer that has been applied is dissolved in the water and washed away. In these agricultural systems, N2-fixing cyanobacteria show a promising biotechnological potential as biofertilizers, improving soil fertility while reducing the environmental impact of the agricultural practice. In the current study, Andalusian paddy fields have been explored to isolate N2-fixing cyanobacteria. These endogenous microorganisms have been subsequently re-introduced in a field trial in order to enhance rice production. Our results provide valuable insights regarding the use of an alternative natural source of nitrogen for rice production.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104628
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