One of the aims of the SolACE project is to develop microbial applications to improve stress tolerance of bread wheat and potato. In particular, the aim was to combine various microorganisms, bacteria and fungi, which have different mechanisms to alleviate plant stress tolerance. To select the best combinations, different microorganisms with already demonstrated plant beneficial effects were tested as single as well as combined inoculants in greenhouse experiments.
Partners at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), the University of Hohenheim (UHO) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) tested these microbial inoculants regarding their effects on plant performance of bread wheat and potato when exposed to moderate drought stress. Based on the results, strain combinations were selected for bread wheat and potato:
- Pseudomonas brassicacearum 3RE2-7 and Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 (for bread wheat and potato),
- Paraburkholderia phytofirmans PsJN and Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 (for potato),
- Paraburkholderia phytofirmans PsJN, Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 and Trichoderma asperelloides (for bread wheat and potato), and
- Kosakonia sp., Herbaspirillum and Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 (for bread wheat).
Currently, formulations are being developed by Agrobiota, De Ceuster Meststoffen NV (DCM) and UCL to facilitate application in the field. Formulated products are required to enable sufficient shelf-life and high viability of the applied microorganisms, which is required to exhibit field efficacy.