EU-2017-01 Beneficial Microorganisms

Natural soil suppressiveness potential will be enhanced by adding compounds shifting the microbial community balance in favour of beneficial species and will condition soil against biotic and abiotic stress. This is better than common practices, in which exogenous beneficial organisms are introduced. This new technique will enable indigenous soil biodiversity conservation and long term yields improvements as local beneficials survive better than exogenous ones.

Researching this area will enable the expansion of WUR Greenhouse Horticulture scientific knowledge. This expertise will strengthen our position when requiring new EU research funding. Scientific publications are also expected, bringing the soil biodiversity topic further under attention. New consortia could be formed in order to investigate this thematic. Using a business case structure and having close cooperation with other parties enables a focused and lean innovation and technology building framework. The knowledge and products generated will be directed among others to the Dutch greenhouse horticulture (such as tomatoes nad peppers), floriculture and open field agriculture sectors, including the seed industry.

The novel products will bring added value in the sector, enabling the reduction of agrochemicals use in direct ways (Thiram in seed coating) as well as by stimulating and restoring the soil suppressiveness. For ChiralVisions B.V. as Dutch partner, the project represents a new business opportunity. For example Dutch seed and enzymes companies like Rijk Zwaan, DSM and Novozymes are already interested in the outcome of project.

Output and impact

The project will deliver five new biological products in form of drenches and seed coatings to the market at the end of 2019 leading to an increase in plant production of more than 8%. The products will not only attract local plant growth promoting micro-organisms but also will condition the soil to improve seed germination and liberate soil bound plant nutrients to reinforce plant strength. Including immobilized enzymes among the ingredients will be a novelty in the sector.