There's Something in the Air: Developing A Diazotroph Based Biofertilizer
Organization(s):John Paul College (GLIDD5YW)
Student(s):Kesia Kurian Shulan Qiu
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
Contributors:Sarah Addison Beccy Ganley
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Presentation Poster: View Document
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Current use of synthetic fertilizers significantly disrupts the nitrogen cycle. For instance, nutrient runoff and leaching harm fragile ecosystems and contribute to climate change.
As a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic fertilisers, we are
investigating the use of diazotrophs in biofertilizers. Our biofertilizers consist of cultured diazotrophs from six different Rotorua locations. Mung beans, Pinus radiata and radishes were inoculated with these diazotrophs. We also tested a variety of commercial fertilisers. The test plants were allowed to grow from seed for approximately two months, including initial germination and maturation. Plant heights were measured every 10-14 days and at the end of the experiment, dry weights of the full plant were taken. We also conduced genetic analysis of the diazotrophs from the soil samples and were able identify some of them.
After one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) of our data, it was found that there was no
statistically significant difference between treatments. This may have been due to experiment length, climactic conditions or a small sample size. However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests that biofertilizers consisting of nitrogen fixing bacteria positively impact plant growth, and can be a substitute or supplement to conventional nitrogen fertilizers.
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