Soil Fertility Services Spring Equinox: Soil audit and nutrient management, keeping you informed

By  Soil Fertility Services

Spring really has sprung and crops want to grow. Soil temperatures at 6° and 8° degrees are higher than in recent years, a lot to do with the recent 10 days of high pressure and Mediterranean weather; which means your soil based workers are waking up.

Now is the time to feed them

It is very important that you establish the beneficial micro-organisms in the rhizosphere; if you can get these into      the plant’s active root system, then these little bugs will form a protective coating, providing nutrition with added protection from pathogens. In particular, the king of the microbial army must be Bacillus Subtillus; this amazing     microbe family will set up an antibiotic defensive barrier to stave off soil pathogens and so protect it host – your crop, BUT we need to get these important microbes into your crop’s rooting system, either via the soil or via the leaf of your plants.

The following is an extract from a published scientific paper -

The full report can be found at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gv/pmc/articles/PMC5592640

Bacillus-mediated plant growth promotion


Crop productivity is affected by environmental and genetic factors. Microbes that are beneficial to plants are used to enhance the crop yield and are alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Pseudomonas and Bacillus species are the predominant plant growth-promoting bacteria.

The spore-forming ability of Bacillus is distinguished from that of Pseudomonas. Members of this genus also survive for a long time under unfavorable environmental conditions.

Bacillus spp. secrete several metabolites that trigger plant growth and prevent pathogen infection.

Limited studies have been conducted to understand the physiological changes that occur in crops in response to Bacillus spp. to provide protection against adverse environmental conditions. This review describes the current understanding of Bacillus induced  physiological changes in plants as an adaptation  to abiotic and biotic stresses.

Bacillus-induced pest control and plant protection

In organic farming, the use of bacterial agents is considered an environmentally friendly and safe method to increase   crop productivity in the presence of pests. Plant-beneficial Bacillus Spp. reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for the sustainable production of various crops in modern agriculture.

For example, thiamethoxam is an insecticide used to control an extensive range of pests, such as aphids, beetles, lepidopteran species, thrips and whiteflies, but use of this chemical in seed coating has been banned by the European Union. Alternatively, eco-friendly microbial pesticides could help fill the gap formed by the discontinuation of chemical pesticides use in the field of agriculture.

Some other Bacillus Spp., such as B. Cereus, B. Subtilis, and B. Amyloliquefaciens, are also involved in pest control. * (These are in our Megabacters)

Effects of Bacillus spp. inoculation on crop protection from pathogenic fungi

The antagonistic activity of Bacillus Spp. controls the mycelial growth of fungi, preventing plant fungal disease and increasing plant growth and yield. Populations of Bacillus spp. can be successfully established in the soil and root rhizospheres without any lasting effects on other bacterial populations. Bacillus spp. attach to the mycelial cell walls, and the chitosanase, protease, cellulase, glucanase, siderophores, and HCN of the bacteria crack and deform the hyphae, which leads to altered cell structure and functions due to vacuolation and protoplast leakage.

Bacterially synthesized  antifungal peptides, such as iturin, fengycin, mixirin, pumilacidin, surfactin, and a novel cyclic peptide with a molecular weight of 852.4 Da, are involved in the destruction of the pathogenic fungi in rhizospheres.


Crop productivity is decreasing due to climatic changes, and human populations are increasing daily, which results in starvation problems in under-developed countries. Research is on going to enhance crop yields despite various unfavorable environmental conditions.

Physical, chemical and biological methods are being used to address the biotic and abiotic stress-induced damage in plants. The mutualistic relationship between plants and microbes is well known, especially the interactions between plants and bacteria either from the soil or inside the plants that help to improve the plant health under adverse stress conditions. The plant-beneficial Bacillus spp. produce plant growth-promoting substances (hormones and solubilizing enzymes) to increase plant growth. During drought and with salinity and heavy metal accumulation in the soil as well as pathogen infection, crop productivity is reduced, but the association with Bacillus Ssp. promotes crop yield via various metabolites. Some of the physiological alterations in plants  during Bacillus Spp. inoculation in stress environments slow plant aging.

For example, the ethylene-suppressing enzyme (ACC deaminase) synthesized by Bacillus Spp. mitigates the detrimental effects of abiotic and biotic stress in plants by  delaying senescence. Exopolysaccharide production by Bacillus Spp. has been frequently reported to reduce sodium ion transport and regulate plant nutrient uptake during salinity stress.

Additionally, the lipopeptides and toxic substances  secreted from Bacillus Spp. prevent pathogen growth and reduce disease occurrence in crops. The plant growth-promoting activities of Bacillus Spp. have been well-documented as evidenced by increased growth of roots, shoots, and leaves as well as enhanced yields. However, very few studies have been conducted regarding the physiological and  molecular aspects of these processes.

Some of these studies have revealed that Bacillus Spp. regulate nutrient uptake, water transport, and antioxidant, pigment, hormone and stress-responsive genes and proteins in plants leading to tolerance under adverse environmental conditions. This review concludes that Bacillus Spp. are biological organisms that can potentially induce stress tolerance in plants.

Author contributions

RR, AH and EA collected the research article information and wrote and revised the article together in a parallel manner. All the authors approved the final version of this manuscript.

We need to get these important microbes into your crop’s rooting system either via the soil or via the leaf of your plants -


This means an application of Mega-Fos at 5 lt/ha or foliar apply Vitaplex Bio at 10 lt/ha.

The cost for this is £20/ha and well worth it in terms of plant health and increased yield potential

Telephone NOW to place your order : 01366 384899

For more blogs and news, see the CropTec blog here

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