A recently published study aims to evaluate the response of three bio-fertilizers where mineral fertilizers are reduced by 50%.
"Hydroponics is one of the systems in agriculture which reinforce productivity by controlling environmental and growing conditions," the researchers say. "However, the soil has rich amounts of beneficial microorganisms, supporting plant nutrition, producing phytohormones, controlling phytopathogens, and improving soil structure. Soilless culture usually contains no beneficial microorganisms if we do not include them in the system." In this study, they evaluated the effect of three bio-fertilizers, namely bacteria, micro-algae, and mycorrhiza, on basil leaf yield and quality (Ocimum basilicum L.) in a floating culture system.
Considering the total harvest data, bacteria, mycorrhiza, and micro-algae treatments increased basil yield compared to 50% control by about 18.94%, 13.94%, and 5.72%, respectively. The maximum total yield and leaf area were recorded using bacteria with 2744 g m −2 and 1528 cm 2 plant −1. Plants with mycorrhiza achieved the highest number of leaves and branches, with 94.3 leaves plant −1 and 24.50 branches plant −1, respectively.
"It was observed that this bio-fertilizer increased the formation of lateral branches in the basil plant without thickening its stems. In addition, bacteria and mycorrhiza induced the highest percentage of dry matter and total soluble solids", the researchers say. "The effect of bio-fertilizers on basil leaf EC and pH was insignificant for all the treatments at different harvest periods (p < 0.05). Using bio-fertilizers enhanced the intake of nutrients N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), K (potassium), Ca (calcium), Mg (magnesium), Fe (iron), Mn (manganese), Zn (zinc), and Cu (copper).
"Using bio-fertilizers represents a promising and environmentally friendly approach to increasing crop yields and ameliorating quality and antioxidant compounds with fewer resources. An application of bio-fertilizers in hydroponic cultivation of basil cv. 'Dino' reduced the need for mineral fertilizers. At the same time, bio-fertilizers affected an increased plant yield and improved product quality. Furthermore, the bacteria had a pronounced enhancing effect on the increase of phenol and flavonoids in the leaves of basil plants."
Read the complete paper here.
Hayriye Yildiz Dasgan, Abdullah Aldiyab, Farah Elgudayem , Boran Ikiz, Nazim S Gruda. (2022). Effect of biofertilizers on leaf yield, nitrate amount, mineral content, and antioxidants of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) in a floating culture