Formulations of Plant Growth- Promoting Microbes for Field Applications
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Development of a plant growth-promoting (PGP) microbe needs several steps starting with isolation of a pure culture, screening of its PGP or antagonistic traits by means of different effi cacy bioassays performed in vitro, in vivo or in trials under greenhouse and/or fi eld conditions. In order to maximize the potential of an effi cient PGP microbe, it is essential to optimize mass multiplication protocols that promote product quality and quantity and a product formulation that enhances bioactivity, preserves shelf life and aids product delivery. Selection of formulation is very crucial as it can determine the success or failure of a PGP microbe. A good carrier material should be able to deliver the right number of viable cells in good physiological conditions, easy to use and economically affordable by the farmers. Several carrier materials have been used in formulation that include peat, talc, charcoal, cellulose powder, farm yard manure, vermicompost and compost, lignite, bagasse and press mud. Each formulation has its advantages and disadvantages but the peat based carrier material is widely used in different part of the world. This chapter gives a comprehensive analysis of different formulations and the quality of inoculants available in the market, with a case study conducted in fi ve-states of India.