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The Microbiology lab under the Biotechnology Programme at MSSRF focuses on exploring the genetic and functional diversity of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) for Sustainable Agriculture

Agricultural productivity needs to be increased without perpetuating any associated ecological harm by using ecological engineers. The microbiology group is engaged in research on the exploration of rhizosphere microbiome; plant-microbe interaction and cross-kingdom communications for the development of potential bioinoculants for the management of soil nutritional health, plant growth promotion, disease and pest management and yield enhancement for sustainable agriculture.

The group is involved in screening and characterizing the diversity of the different rhizobacteria such as Azospirrillum, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Rhizobium, Streptomyces, and Trichoderma associated with different crops grown in different agro-climatic conditions and testing their plant growth promoting and protecting traits under greenhouse and field conditions. Multi-location field trials were conducted in different seasons in different crops using nitrogen fixers and phosphate solubilizers individually and in combination.

Effective talc and liquid formulations of different bioinoculants has been developed for field application to enhance yield in different crop plants by nutrient mobilization and control of wide range of phytopathogens. The standardized mass production technology has been transferred to eco-enterprises run by WSHG. The decentralized biofertilizer and biopesticide units are currently producing Azospirillum lipoferum; phosphobacteria; Pseudomonas fluorescens; Bacillus subtilis and marketing it. Currently, the production technology has been upgraded using fermentor, each of these units is equipped with a fermentor and the production capacity has been increased.

KISAN Hub is a new programme funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India (GOI), under DBT’s mission programme, Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) that empowers farmers through science and technology.