Microbial biofertilizers for enhanced crop availability of phosphorus pools in soil and waste – novel strategies for sustainable bio-based food production

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    Increasing global food demands drive current intensification of crop production. Hence, phosphorus (P) fertilizer demand increases while conventional rock phosphate sources may soon be exhausted. Concurrently, growing amounts of P-rich organic wastes are not intelligently utilized.
    The aim of this project is to develop innovative fertilizer strategies for sustainable use of P resources in future food production, at both regional and global scale.
    Commercial microbial biofertilizers can release rock P in soil for improved crop yields, but their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. We will clarify these, and determine how soil conditions and microbial interactions impact biofertilizer function. Furthermore, biofertilizer potential to mobilize organic P from waste has barely been exploited, nor has the ability of biofertilizers to release inorganic P from waste-derived low-temperature gasification ashes. Hence, we will use novel isolation procedures to obtain efficient biofertilizers that make organic P from waste accessible to plants and we will improve biofertilizer performance and robustness in soils with ash P amendments.
    All improved biofertilizer strategies will be evaluated in different soils and for various crops. Consequently, the research spans from gene to ecosystem and includes basic as well as strategic work in collaboration with stakeholders.
    The proposed research has great commercial and societal value as microbial biofertilizer products may complement or substitute traditional P-fertilizers and contribute to societal resilience towards the expected P-scarcity and resulting price rises of rock phosphate.
    Effective start/end date01/01/201431/12/2017

    Collaborative partners

    • Roskilde University (lead)
    • Technical University of Denmark (Project partner)
    • University of Copenhagen (Project partner)
    • Novozymes (Project partner)