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Development of formulations for innovative inoculant for sugarcane containing free-living diazotrophic bacteria

Grant number: 16/08192-4
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2017 - November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Alice de Sousa Cassetari
Grantee:Alice de Sousa Cassetari
Company:Cassetari & Lucheta Biotecnologia Ltda. - ME
City: Piracicaba
Associated scholarship(s):17/22290-1 - Development of formulations for innovative inoculate for sugarcane containing diazotrophic free living bacteria, BP.PIPE


Sugarcane cropping uses 14% of all fertilizers produced in Brazil, at a cost of US$ 2.44 billion. Even though the plant responses are positive, nitrogen (N) fertilization is an important factor limiting the productivity of sugarcane, since only approximately 20% of the applied N as fertilizers is taken up by the plants. The use of high concentrations of N fertilizers in agriculture increases production costs and can impact the environment. To reduce production costs and mitigate the effects of nitrogen in the environment, the use of inoculants containing diazotrophic bacteria may be the main alternative to the use of soluble N fertilizers. The inoculation of legumes, mainly soybean and common bean, with nodule forming diazotrophs has been a common practice in agriculture, saving around US$ 7 billions. Even thought the use of diazotrophs in grasses is only beginning, this alternative may contribute to the reduction of N fertilizer use in 5O%. Applied only to sugarcane cropping, this technology would reduce the amount of N fertilizer used in 150,000 tons and the emission of greenhouse gases in 1,300 kg of CO2-equivalent per year. The main limitation to exploit this potential is the lack of innovative technologies for inoculants production and the dogma concerning the contribution of endophytic dizothrophs to the biological nitrogen fixation in sugarcane. This scenario can be changed by the innovative solutions created by TELLUS Biotecnologia, which has already developed prototypes of inoculants containing free-living diazothrophs immobilized in microcapsules for soil application or in suspension for foliar application. Both approaches were successful in supplying N for sugarcane. However, TELLUS Biotecnologia needs to overcome a new challenges, such as: inoculant formulation optimization for minimizing production costs and maximizing efficiency, determination of inoculant shelf life, and consolidate the technology for different sugarcane varieties in different substrate/soils. For the reasons explained, the TELLUS Biotecnologia is submitting this proposal to PIPE-FAPESP. (AU)