Phosphate solubilizing bacteria

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Phosphate solubilizing bacteria cultured in petri dish. The zone of n clearance can be clearly seen.

Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) are a group of beneficial bacteria capable of hydrolysing organic and inorganic phosphorus from insoluble compounds.[1] P-solubilization ability of the microorganisms is considered to be one of the most important traits associated with plant phosphate nutrition. It is generally accepted that the mechanism of mineral phosphate solubilization by PSB strains is associated with the release of low molecular weight organic acids,through which their hydroxyl and carboxyl groups chelate the cations bound to phosphate, thereby converting it into soluble forms.In addition, some PSB produce phosphatase like phytase that hydrolyse organic forms of phosphate compounds efficiently. One or both types of PSB have been introduced to Agricultural community as phosphate Biofertilizer. Phosphorus (P) is one of the major essential macronutrients for plants and is applied to soil in the form of phosphate fertilizers. However, a large portion of soluble inorganic phosphate which is applied to the soil as chemical fertilizer is immobilized rapidly and becomes unavailable to plants.[2] Currently, the main purpose in managing soil phosphorus is to optimize crop production and minimize P loss from soils. PSB have attracted the attention of agriculturists as soil inoculums to improve the plant growth and yield. When PSB used with rock phosphate, it can save about 50% of the crop requirement of phosphatic fertilizer.[citation needed] The use of PSB as inoculants increases the P uptake by plants. Simple inoculation of seeds with PSB gives crop yield responses equivalent to 30 kg P2O5 /ha or 50 percent of the need for phosphatic fertilizers. Currently, different strains of these bacteria has been identified for using in biofertilizer, among them Pantoea agglomerans (P5), Microbacterium laevaniformans (P7) and Pseudomonas putida (P13) strains are highly efficient insoluble phosphate solubilizers.


  1. ^ Y.P. Chen, P.D. Rekha, A.B. Arun, F.T. Shen, W.-A. Lai and C.C. Young (2006). "Phosphate solubilizing bacteria from subtropical soil and their tricalcium phosphate solubilizing abilities". Applied Soil Ecology 34 (1): 33–41. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2005.12.002.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Mohammad Ali Malboobi, Parviz Owlia, Mandana Behbahani, Elaheh Sarokhani, Sara Moradi, Bagher Yakhchali, Ali Deljou, Kambiz Morabbi Heravi (2009). "Solubilization of organic and inorganic phosphates by three highly efficient soil bacterial isolates". World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 25 (8): 1471–1477. doi:10.1007/s11274-009-0037-z.