Fungal fertilizer fires up phosphates
At the American Society For Microbiology's recent general assembly in New Orleans, University of Lausanne professor Ian Sanders explained how the fungi produces phosphate nutrients to help plants grow.
He said this was particularly relevant for farmers in tropical climates where plants had more difficulty obtaining phosphate, leading to higher fertilizer costs, the story reported.
Sanders said the fungi only grew in plant roots but with biotechnological advances it was now possible to create high quantities in a form of gel that could be easily transported.
Ecogaia reported Sanders' study found the gel's use on farms in Colombia had allowed farmers to produce the same amount of potatoes with half the fertilizer costs.
"While our research is focused in Colombia it could be implemented in many other tropical regions of the world," Sanders was quoted as saying.
Photo: Carolina Organic Depot