Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria from Cow Dung Based Biodynamic Preparations
Indigenous formulations based on cow dung fermentation are commonly used in organic farming. Three biodynamic preparations viz., Panchagavya (PG), BD500 and ‘Cow pat pit’ (CPP) showed high counts of lactobacilli (109 ml−1) and yeasts (104 ml−1). Actinomycetes were present only in CPP (104 ml−1) and absent in the other two. Seven bacterial isolates from these ferments were identified by a polyphasic approach: Bacillus safensis (PG1), Bacillus cereus (PG2, PG4 PG5), Bacillus subtilis (BD2) Lysinibacillus xylanilyticus (BD3) and Bacillus licheniformis (CPP1). This is the first report of L. xylanilyticus and B. licheniformis in biodynamic preparations. Only three carbon sources—dextrose, sucrose and trehalose out of 21 tested were utilized by all the bacteria. None could utilize arabinose, dulcitol, galactose, inositol, inulin, melibiose, raffinose, rhamnose and sorbitol. All the strains produced indole acetic acid (1.8–3.7 μg ml−1 culture filtrate) and ammonia. None could fix nitrogen; but all except B. safensis and B. licheniformis could solubilize phosphorous from insoluble tri-calcium phosphate. All the strains except L. xylaniliticus exhibited antagonism to the plant pathogen Rhizoctonia bataticola whereas none could inhibit Sclerotium rolfsi. In green house experiment in soil microcosms, bacterial inoculation significantly promoted growth of maize; plant dry weight increased by ~21 % due to inoculation with B. cereus (PG2). Results provide a basis for understanding the beneficial effects of biodynamic preparations and industrial deployment of the strains.
Research publications concerning biodynamics