Using Microbes in Organic Cultivation

microbe-beneficial-Pseudomonas-fluorescens Using Microbes in Organic Cultivation requires a different mind-set. If your not accustomed to working with microbes in horticulture then your going to need to get familiar with these posts below. First you'll have too understand the world of differences when applying microbe technology vs pesticides and harsh chemicals. To begin with a horticulturist using chemicals generally speaking starts out with a sterile growth. What I mean is, the chemical fertilizers he uses has killed most of the microorganisms in his substrate. In a typical scenario, due to the lack of competition a photogenic "opportunist" or worse, a straight forward killer pathogen has room to expand his colony. After some time the symptoms of this pathogen begin to appear. At that point a fungicide or general pesticide is applied and the roots growing medium dies once again. The proper way of managing plants with beneficial and or predatory type microbes is ongoing and not just when problem is evident. You introduce the types of beneficial microbes from the beginning of cultivation, in germinating cuttings first plantings and during the growth and flowering period. In this way there will never be a pathogen taking over the colony. If you use Microbes in Organic Cultivation properly and plan your colony well, your going to have perfect growth. Pseudomonas fluorescens (image rt) liberates phosphorus (i.e. rock phosphate) for plant uptake,

Bacillus subtilis Biocontrol

Bacillus subtilis Biocontrol

Bacillus subtilis General Description Bacillus subtilis is one of the best understood prokaryotes, in terms of molecular biology and cell biology. Its superb genetic amenability and relatively large size have provided the powerful tools required to investigate a bacterium from all possible aspects. Bacillus subtilis is included in the genus of Gram-positive, rod-shaped (bacillus), bacteria. Bacillus subtilis is an obligate aerobes (oxygen reliant). But more recently, it has been found to have the ability,when in the presence of nitrates or glucose, to be aerobic as well as anaerobic, making it a facultative anaerobes. Bacillus subtilis is an endospore forming bacteria, and the endospore that it forms allows it to withstand extreme temperatures as well as dry environments. Under stressful environmental conditions, the bacteria can produce oval endospores that are not true spores but which the bacteria can reduce themselves to and remain in a dormant state for very long periods. These characteristics originally defined the genus. Bacillus subtilis is not considered pathogenic or toxic and is not a disease causing agent. B. subtilis is readily present everywhere; the air, soil and in plant compost. In this article we are focusing on Basillus subtilis as a soil microorganism. However interestingly enough, it’s main habitat is in our stomachs. Although B subtilis is commonly found in soil, more evidence suggests that it is a normal gut commensal in humans. A 2009 study compared the density of spores found in soil (~106 spores per gram) to that found in human feces (~104 spores per gram). The number of spores found in the human gut is too high to be attributed solely to consumption through food contamination. Soil simply serves as a reservoir, suggesting that B. subtilis inhabits the gut and should be considered as a normal gut commensa.   Bacillus subtilis | Agricultural Tool Basillus subtilis produces an abundance of beneficial toxins and enzymes, most importantly it produces a toxin called subtilisin and a class of lipopeptide antibiotics called iturins.  Iturins has direct fungicidal activity on many pathogens, such as Rhyzoctonia Pythium, Phytophthora, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Mucor, Oidium, Botrytis, Colletotrichum, Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, as well as nematodos. Iturins help B. subtilis bacteria out-compete other microorganisms by either killing them or reducing their growth rate. In this way subtilis takes up space on the roots, leaving less area or source for occupation by disease pathogens. There is a symbiosis component to the B. subtilis-plant dynamics as well. B subtilis feeds off plant exudates, which also serve as a food source for disease pathogens. Because it consumes exudates, it deprives disease pathogens of a major food source, thereby inhibiting their ability to thrive and reproduce. The exudes feed subtilis and this allows it to protect the plant from pathogens....

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Hirsutellia Biocontrol Fungus

Hirsutellia Biocontrol Fungus

Hirsutella is a genus of asexually reproducing fungi in the Ophiocordycipitaceae family, which contain about 65 species (Hodge 1998). It is a moniliaceous, entomopathogenic fungal pathogen, which produces an insecticidal protein named hirsutellin. Hirsutellin has been described to be toxic against a wide rage of small insects including larvae, aphids, mites and nematodes. Hirsutella was originally described by French mycologist Narcisse Théophile Patouillard in 1892, creating interest in the use of these fungi as biological controls of insect pests. The teleomorphs of Hirsutella species belong to the genera Ophiocordyceps and Torrubiella. Hirsutella is a Hyphomycetes, a form-class of Fungi, part of what has often been referred to as Fungi imperfecti, Deuteromycota, or anamorphic fungi. Hyphomycetes lack closed fruiting bodies, and are often referred to as molds. They have unusual phialides that taper into a long narrow neck, and produce usually only 1–3 conidia in a dense terminal sphere of slime. Most Important Hursutella Species The genus Hursutella contain approximately 30 species. By no means all of these species are viable bio-control agents. The most important bio-control agents are Hirsutella verticillioides, Hirsutella thompsonii, Hirsutella citriformis and Hirsutella rhossiliensis. Rhossiliensis being very effective against nematodes. If you are up on your Spanish you might be interested in the report FAO Hirsutella put together jointly between the Instituto de Investigaciones and the Centro de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (CIAP), Universidad Central de Las Villas, Cuba. Hirsutellia Mode of Action Hirsutellia controls the growth of certain harmful bacteria and fungi, presumably by competing for nutrients, growth sites on plants, and by directly colonizing and attaching to fungal pathogens. A detailed description of the mode of action can be gleaned from the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology Entitled “The Mode of Action of Hirsutellin A on Eukaryotic Cells” In summary, Hirsutella has been found to be the first mycotoxin of a invertebrate mycopathogen determined to possess ribosomal inhibiting activity and appears to possess some specificity to invertebrate cells. Research Related to Biocontrol Agent Hirsutellia Toxicity of Hirsutella Against Mites– INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE & BIOLOGY Toxicity of Hirsutella Against Mites- Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I, Universidad Complutense Hirsutellin A, a toxic protein produced in vitro by Hirsutella thompsonii– Station de Recherches de Pathologie Comparee INRACNRS, Saint-Christol- Lez-Ales,...

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Biofertilizer Aquaponics & Biochar

Biofertilizer Aquaponics  & Biochar

Biofertilizers (also known as “plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria” or PGPR) have come on rapidly in “sustainable” agricultural circles, providing eco-friendly organic agro-input. A biofertilizer contains living microorganisms which, when inoculated into biochar or soil, promotes growth by increasing the supply or availability of major nutrients, such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus. Bio-fertilizers add nutrients through the natural processes of nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphorus, and stimulating plant growth through the synthesis of growth-promoting bacterial bio-liquides. Bio-fertilizers do not contain any chemicals. Using Biochar in conjunction with aquaponics is a cutting edge innovation. Biochar has proven to be many times more useful as a medium than rocks. This is true especially when considering applications and/or inoculations with beneficial microorganisms. This is mainly due to the porous structure of Biochar which supports microbial communities. Due to immobilization of phosphate by mineral ions such as Fe, Al and Ca or organic acids, the rate of available phosphate (Pi) is always below plant needs. In addition, chemical Pi fertilizers are also immobilized in the soil, immediately, so that less than 20 percent of added fertilizer is absorbed by plants. Therefore, reduction in Pi resources, on one hand, and environmental pollutions resulting from both production and applications of chemical Pi fertilizer, on the other hand, have already demanded the use of new generation of phosphate fertilizers globally known as phosphate-solubilizing bacteria or phosphate...

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Fungus Isaria fumosorosea Controls Flys

Fungus Isaria fumosorosea Controls Flys

 Fungus Isaria fumosorosea General Information Isaria fumosorosea, was first described as Paecilomyces fumosoroseus by M. Wize in 1904. It is now considered a very effective fungal entomopathogen. It was discovered by M. Wize in a suffering sugar beet weevil in the Ukraine but has a huge distribution range. Isaria fumosorosea is a species complex rather than a single species. This means there are wide variations. Undoubtedly there will be taxonomic revisions of this group in the future (Zimmermann, 2008). Isaria fumosorosea is found in the soil, on plants, in the air, on every continent in the world except Antartica (Cantone and Vandenberg, 1998), (Zimmerman, 2008)  It has been found to effect over forty species of arthropods. Susceptible organisms include some of the more problematical horticultural pests. A few mentionables being, whiteflies, thrips, aphids and termites. (Smith, 1993; Dunlop et al. 2007; Hoy et al. 2010) Because of its wide range of arthropodial host, it has received significant attention in research as a biological control agent. Much of the research has been focused on controlling the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. We have an interesting post describing the use of Isaria in combination with  Lecanicillium and Paecilomyces lilacinus. We have found it quite effective. It is a product that will convince the traditional horticulturalist to think “microbe”.  Fungus Isaria fumosorosea Mode of Action Like most entomopathogenic fungi, Isaria fumosorosea, infects its host by dissolving the insects cuticle (Hajek and Leger, 1994). Various metabolites allow the Isaria fumosorosea to penetrate the host insect and inhibit its regulatory system. The active enzymes exuded by Isaria fumosorosea include proteases, chitinases, chitosanase, and lipase (Ali et al. 2010). These allow it to breach the arthopods cuticle and disperse through the hemocoel.  Isaria fumosorosea also produces beavericin (Luangsa-ard et al. 2009). Beavericin paralyzes the host cells (Hajek and Leger, 1994). Affectable arthropods exposed to blastospores and conidia show slowed growth and high counts of mortality (Dunlap et al. 2007).  Fungus Isaria fumosorosea Mode of Application Worldwide, it is currently used in 8 different mycoacaricides and mycoinsecticides (Faria and Wraight, 2007). All are considered safe and non-toxic to humans (Dalleau-Clouet et al. 2005)  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of its use is that it has little effect on most off target beneficial insects when used correctly (Zimmerman, 2008). Tests show that the fungus is not toxic to mammals nor birds as well as humans. Isaria fumosorosea can and should be applied in combination with other entomopathogenic fungus such as Lecanicillium and Beauvaeria. The diluted mix is sprayed not only on the upper and lower leaves, but over the entire phylosphere of the plant in the soft morning or evening light. Keep in mind there are several factors which influence the growth and stability of Isaria fumosorosea. These include temperature, relative humidity, radiation, and the host plant of the target insect (Zimmerman 2008). It works best at temperatures between 22⁰C and 30⁰C (72⁰F-86⁰F), and requires high humidity. Exposure to sunlight can have serious negative effects on survival of I. fumosorosea (Zimmerman 2008). Studies demonstrate that UV radiation, particularly wavelengths in the UV-A and UV-B(400 to 280 nm) region are the most problematical. Isaria fumosorosea was registered as an active ingredient in a Manufacturing Use Product and in one End-use Product for non-food use in greenhouses in October 1998 in the USA. These products are now labeled for non-food and for agricultural food uses. An exemption from tolerance was established in 40 CFR 180.1306 in September 2011.  References Ali, S., Huang, Z., and Ren, S. 2010. Production of cuticle degrading enzymes by Isaria fumosorosea and their evaluation as a biocontrol agent against diamondback...

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Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis BTI | Larvae Toxin

Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis BTI  | Larvae Toxin

The following article was gleaned from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology General Description  Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis According to Cornell University, there are over 100 species of bacteria that are thought to be pathonogenic to insects. So far very few of these have been studied enough to give us a working relationship with the microbe. But that is not the case with Bacillus thuringiensis. Since the 1960s this microbe has been developed as a microbial insecticide, of which several species are now available in laboratories world wide. When effectively applied to their primary hosts, caterpillars, some beetles and fly larvae (including fungus gnats), they stop eating, become limp, shrunken, die and decompose. These products have an excellent safety record and can be used on vegetables up to the day of harvest with no negative human responses. Because the bacteria must be eaten by the larvae to be effective, good spray coverage is essential. Mode of Action Diagram courtesy of Abbott Laboratories. The toxic crystal Bt protein is effective when eaten by insects with a alkaline gut pH and the specific gut membrane structures required to bind the toxin. The insect must have the correct physiology and be at larvic stage of development. The microbe must be eaten in sufficient quantity. When ingested by a larvae, the protein toxin damages the gut lining, effecting a gut paralysis. The insects stop feeding and die from the combined effects of starvation and tissue damage. The larva usually die within a few days or up to a week. The active ingredients in BTI are delta-endotoxins i. e. Cry4Aa, Cry4Ab, Cry10Aa, and Cry11Aa as well as Cyt1Aa (Cytolysin) proteins.  The chemical structure of the active ingredients (insecticidal crystalline toxins), are proteins of known amino acid sequences.   Application |  Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis Microorganisms always are more effective when combined with other compatible beneficial microbes. In this case application along with Paecilomyces , Beauveria and Metarhizium is recommended. These additional fungus will be effective against the adult stages while BTI acts contrary to its nymphal stages. When applied together, it is very effective. Human Safety | Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis Toxicity: Products based on Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) have a very high safety record. The insecticidal activity is limited to the Nematocera within the order of Diptera. Susceptible are Culicidae and Simuliidae. Bti did not demonstrate measurable toxicity when tested on animals for Acute Oral, Dermal, and Inhalation. In 1999, the World Health Organisation WHO stated that “Bti is safe for use in aquatic environments, including drinking-water reservoirs, for the control of mosquito, black-fly and nuisance insect larvae”. (Source: The International Program on Chemical Safety; Environmental Health Criteria 217, Bacillus thuringiensis, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 1999. ISBN 92 4 157217 5) Genetic Modification | Bacillus thurigiensis var israelensis There is one controversial issue relating to BTI. As mentioned above, Bti is very intensively researched. In fact it was one of the first bacteria to be genetically mapped. So that means we now know the assigned DNA fragments of chromosomes which produce the insecticide crystals inside Bti. In recent years these same fragments have been inserted into certain vegetable chromosomes, like corn. The very convincing argument against this particular genetic manipulation, is that before the GM, the natural drama between the bacteria and the insect was outside the range of human contact. However, the same insecticide, now inside the corn, is ingested by us. References  Hoffmann, M.P. and Frodsham, A.C. (1993) Natural Enemies of Vegetable Insect Pests. Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 63 pp. Tanada, Y.,...

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Pseudomonas fluorescens Phosphate Solubilization

Pseudomonas fluorescens Phosphate Solubilization

Pseudomonas fluorescens General Description Pseudomonas fluorescens is a common Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium. It is found in many soils throughout the globe but in small numbers. The species name ‘fluorescens’ was coined because of its ability to secrete a soluble, green colored fluorescent pigment called pyoverdin. It is well known that Pseudomonas fluorescens, in association with the plant rhizosphere, is able to exert a beneficial effect upon plant growth. It’s use as a bio-fertilizer as well as a pathogen control agent for microbial-agriculture. This beneficial microbe is a commonly used strain of bacteria primarily because of it’s ability to liberate phosphorus for plant uptake. However it also promotes plant growth by suppressing pathogens in root zones. Pseudomonas fluorescens secretes antibiotics and hydrogen cyanide that are lethal to plant pathogens. So you can see why this bacterial species is a topic of common interest for microbial-horticulturalist all over the world.  Pseudomonas Mechanism for Phosphate Solubilization The following is a summery of the research review paper “Phosphate solubilizing bacteria and their role in plant growth promotion” by Hilda Rodríguez, of the Department of Microbiology, Cuban Research Institute. The principal mechanism for mineral phosphate solubilization of Pseudomonas is its production of organic acids and acid phosphatases which play a major role in the mineralization of organic phosphorous. Although several phosphate solubilizing bacteria occur in soil, usually their numbers are not high enough to compete with other bacteria commonly established in the rhizosphere. Thus, the amount of P liberated by them is generally not sufficient for a substantial increase in plant growth. Therefore, inoculation of plants by a target microorganism at a much higher concentration than that normally found in soil is necessary to take advantage of the property of phosphate solubilization for plant yield enhancement. It has been shown how phosphate solubilizing bacteria assists mycorrhizal fungus to further help plants [1,2]. Several studies have shown that P solubilizing bacteria interact with vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae by liberating phosphate ions in the substrate. This causes a synergistic interaction that allows for better (326 H. Rodríguez, R. Fraga/Biotechnology Advances 17 (1999) 319–339) use of insoluble phosphate sources [3-5]. The P solubilized by Pseudomonas fluorescens is more easily taken up by the plants through a mycorrhizae mediated channel between roots and surrounding soil.  This would allow nutrient transfer from soil to plants [6]. In fact, Toro et al. [7], using radioactive 32P labeling, demonstrated that phosphate- solubilizing bacteria associated with mycorrhizae improved mineral accumulation of phosphorus and nitrogen in plants. These authors suggested that the inoculated rhizobacteria could have released phosphate ions from insoluble rock phosphate and/or other P sources, which were then taken up by the external mycorrhizal mycelium. It is generally accepted that the major mechanism of mineral phosphate solubilization is the action of organic acids synthesized by soil microorganisms [8,9-14 ]. Production of organic acids results in acidification of the microbial cell and its surroundings. Consequently, Pi may be released from a mineral phosphate by proton substitution for Ca21 [15]. The production of organic acids by phosphate solubilizing bacteria has been well documented. Among them, gluconic acid seems to be the most frequent agent of mineral phosphate solubilization. It is reported as the principal organic acid produced by phosphate solubilizing bacteria such as Pseudomonas sp. References [1] Chabot R, Antoun H, Cescas MP. Stimulation de la croissance du mais et de la laitue romaine par desmicroorganismes dissolvant le phosphore inorganique. Can J Microbiol 1993;39:941–7. [2] Chabot R, Antoun H, Kloepper JW, Beauchamp CJ. Root colonization of maize and lettuce by bioluminiscent Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar. phaseoli. Appl Environ Microbiol 1996a;62:2767–72[3] Ray J, Bagyaraj DJ, Manjunath A. Influence of soil...

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Beauveria bassiana Entomopathogenic Fungi

Beauveria bassiana Entomopathogenic Fungi

Beauveria bassiana General Information Beauveria bassiana, formerly also known as Tritirachium shiotae, is an entomopathogenic fungus (parasitic to insects) that grows naturally in soils throughout the world.  It acts as a parasite on a very wide variety of arthropods, including, whiteflies, termites, thrips, aphids, beetles,caterpillars, weevils, grasshoppers, ants, mealybugs, bedbugs and even malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Insects vary in susceptibility to different strains. Strains have been collected from different infected insects and cultured to create a particular product for commercial use. The product is made via a bio-fermentation process. The spores (conidia) are extracted and made into a sprayable form. Beauveria bassiana was named after the Italian entomologist Agostino Bassi. He first found B bassiana in 1835 as the cause of the muscardine disease of the domesticated silkworms. Supplemental Material Fact Sheet.pdf Beauveria bassiana Mode of Action Beauveria bassiana kills arthropods as a result of the insect coming into contact with the conidia (fungal spores). contact is made in several ways. The most common and effective is the spray droplets landing on the pest or by walking on a treated surface.  Once the fungal spores attach to the insect’s cuticle, the fungus spores germinate sending out threaded hyphae which penetrate the insect’s body and proliferate. It takes 3 to 5 days for an infected insects to die. The dead insect may serve as a source of spores for secondary spread of the fungus. An infected adult male will also transmit the fungus during mating. (Long et al. 2000). Click here to learn more The conidia of Beauveria. bassiana adhere to the insect cuticle by means of hydrophobic interaction between the spore wall and epicuticle lipids. The conidia germinate, and the germ tube penetrates the cuticle, using a specific series of enzymes, which in turn degrade the lipids, protein and chitin in the insect cuticle. In the insect body, the fungus multiplies in the haemocoel as a blastospore, or yeast-like cell, and enzymes begin to destroy the internal structures of the host insect causing morbidity within 36 – 72 hours. Reduced feeding and immobility are rapidly evident, The insect dies within between 4 to 10 days post-infection. The time to death will depend on the insect species, age and conidial dose. After death, the blastospores transform into mycelia, which emerge through the cuticle and form spores. These cover the cadaver as a characteristic white growth. Sporulation occurs only in conditions of high humidity. Beauveria bassiana Mode of Application The liquid spray should have a concentration of at least 2.5X109 viable spores. High humidity and water amplify the activity of the conidia and the infection. Fungal spores are readily killed by solar radiation. It is best to spray the plants with the anthropoid pests in the morning or late afternoon, in cool to moderate temperatures (Goettel et al. 2000, Wraight and Ramos 2002). Apply the Beauveria bassiana liquid spray to the top as well as the undersides of the leaves or wherever the arthropod primarily occurs. Good coverage is a must. The spores have a relatively short life cycle, so it is important that the spray has sufficient opportunity to contact the insect. For insects that bore into a plant, control is difficult. For best results, applications should be made during the early growth stages of the insect before much damage has occurred. Speed of kill depends on the number of spores contacting the insect, insect age, susceptibility and environmental conditions. Beauveria bassiana has a wide host range and should be considered a non-selective biological insecticide. These should not be applied to flowers visited by pollinating...

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De-chlorinate Water When Using Microbes

De-chlorinate Water When Using Microbes

How to De-chlorinate Water Using Microbes is very important. Most people take our drinking water from the tap for granted. It has been treated with chlorine so we never have to worry about pathogenic microbes cramping our style. But you have to remember that this same chlorine is a beneficial microbe killer as well. So when applying water to your Hydro-Organic tanks, seedlings, or performing any hydration work, it is important to de-chloronate this water before hand. But it ain’t hard so stop the frowning. De-chlorinate Water Using Microbes | Short Version  Place the water in an open mouthed tank, bucket or container and let it sit out overnight. That’s it. I told you it was easy. Chlorine (Cl2), over time, separates from the water and bubbles up and out. You can see that by filling a glass container up with tap water and letting it sit. Soon you will see the bubbles on the edges of the glass. That is chlorine gas. saying by-by to the beneficial microbes. De-chlorinate Water Using Microbes |Detailed Version Chlorine has made it’s mark by virtually eliminating water borne pathogens. This allows the world to drink it down safely.  It is easily applied to water sources. Small amounts have the ability to be effective throughout a municipal distribution network, from the water treatment plant all the way to the faucet tap.  The discovery of these benefits coupled with it’s low cost resulted in chlorine being chosen as the preferred chemical. Air and Sunlight  | De-chlorinate Water Using Microbes If exposed to the atmosphere and sunlight however, chlorine dissipates quickly, in as little as 10 hours of exposure. But if you have chloramine, a newer additive, used in place of chlorine in some water systems in the United states and Europe, it will not leave the water when exposed to air. You have to check with your water supply company to find out which is being use. Vitamin C |De-chlorinate Water Using Microbes Vitamin C is a somewhat newer chemical method for neutralizing chlorine. Two forms of vitamin C, ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate, will neutralize chlorine. The United States Department of Agriculture Technology and Development Program has done a lot of work with this. You can see the entire report below. Basically what it describes is simply adding One gram of Vitamin C per 100 gallons of water, stir for one minute and no more available chlorine to kill our little friends. United States Department of Agriculture Technology and Development Program Ascorbic Acid One gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 1 milligram per liter of chlorine per 100 gallons of water. The reaction is very fast. The chemical reaction (Tikkanen and others 2001) of ascorbic acid with chlorine is shown below: C5H5O5CH2OH + HOCL → C5H3O5CH2OH + HCl + H2O Ascorbic acid + Hypochlorous acid → Dehydroascorbic acid + Hydrochloric acid + water Approximately 2.5 parts of ascorbic acid are required for neutralizing 1 part chlorine. Since ascorbic acid is weakly acidic, the pH of the treated water may decrease slightly in low alkaline waters. Sodium Ascorbate Sodium ascorbate will also neutralize chlorine. It is pH neutral and will not change the pH of the treated water. Sodium ascorbate is preferable for neutralizing high concentrations of chlorine. If a large amount of treated water is going to be discharged to a small stream, the pH of the treated water and the stream should be within 0.2 to 0.5 units of the receiving stream. >The reaction (Tikkanen and others 2001) of sodium ascorbate with chlorine is shown below: C5H5O5CH2ONa + HOCL → C5H3O5CH2OH + NaCl...

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Paecilomyces lilacinus

Paecilomyces lilacinus

Paecilomyces lilacinus General Description Here in the mountains of Costa Rica, there are whiteflys. Yes, “I have whiteflys!!” So I make the following statement with field experience authority. Paecilomyces lilacinus can be used against the nymphal stages of whiteflys, applied in combination with two other fungus, Isaria fumosorosea and Lecanicillium spp. The latter two of which are effective against the adult whiteflys while the Pae works on the larvae. Applying these three microbes together will bring down significantly the population of larvae and adults both. It’s a quite interesting combination that can be sprayed over the infested plants in one application. Fungus work better in heterogeneous groups than alone. Paecilomyces lilacinus Mode of Action The fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus in sufficient concentrations over 107 u.f.c/ml, produce hyphae over eggs and larvae on anthropoids of the geneses Meloidogyne, Pratylenchus and Radopholus producing deformities in the embryo.The hyphae grow over the egg, while the tips swell and create deformities. A penetration peg grows from the bottom of the hyphae (appressorium) into the egg. The eggs swell and buckle. As penetration continues and the eggs split while the hyphae fill the egg completely. The fungus then emerge to the egg surface producing first vegetative growth. After 5 days most of the eggs are infected. The young born infected soon die. Paecilomyces lilacinus Mode of Application Shake the bottles well before using. Dilute the OST liquids containing the fungus 4 to 1 with de-chlorinated water. Pass the liquid threw a strainer before placing it in your sprayer. Generously coat the bottom leaves  with the liquid solution. You will see most of the nymphs and adults feeding on the bottom of the leaves. But it is a good idea to have a well established fungal culture on the entire Phylospher. By this I mean spray the bottom of the leaves and the stems as well. De-chlorinating water is simply water that has been sitting over night with the lid of the bucket open to the air. Chlorine, over time, separates from the water and bubbles up and out. You can see that by filling a glass container up with tap water and letting it sit. Soon you will see the bubbles on the edges of the glass. That is chlorine gas. For other ways to de-cloronate, such as applying vitamin C, refer to our post De-chlorinate Water When Using Microbes. In rare cases, Paecilomyces lilacinus is on record as cause opportunistic systemic fungal diseases in humans. It has been implicate in eye, lung and skin infections. Personally, I have never known anyone that has had a problem in horticultural applications but be careful when handling the...

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Beneficial Microbes in Hydroponics

Beneficial Microbes in Hydroponics

Beneficial Microbes | Pathogen Control One reason soil-less cultures were originally developed was to control soil borne diseases. Soil-less cultures provide several advantages for growers such as greater production of crops, reduced energy consumption, better control of growth and independence of soil quality. But root diseases still occur frequently in hydroponics and disease outbreaks are sometimes greater than in soil (Stanghellini and Rasmussen, 1994). Pythium and Phytophthora sp. are particularly well adapted to aquatic environments. Their growth in soil-less substrates is favored by the recirculation of the nutrient solution. These pathogenic microorganisms are usually controlled by disinfection methods but such methods are only effective as a preventive measure. More recently there has been an increase in investigations on proventing pathogens by the addition of antagonistic microorganisms.  For example the study and subsequent report Pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms in soilless cultures is a good example of this new interest in horticultural sciences. However much of the new research has yet to go deeply into the hydro-oganics where soil is a basic structure placed solidly in the system. The OST hydro-organic system’s inherent soil structure inoculates the water with elementary beneficial microorganisms constantly. The water, biofilm and substrate, with their established community, acts as a buffer against pathogen intrusion. Refer to the report Microbial ecosystem constructed in water for organic hydroponics pdf. In this report by NARO researcher Makoto Shinohara,  demonstrates how the susceptibility to bacterial wilt disease of tomato was examined by inoculation of the culture solution with Ralstonia solanacearum. His study shows that more than half of the plants grown with chemical fertilizer died from bacterial wilt disease, while there were no wilted tomato plants among those grown hydro-organically. However much of the new research has yet to go deeply into the hydro-oganics where soil is a basic structure placed solidly in the system. The OST hydro-organic system’s inherent soil inoculates the water with elementary beneficial microorganisms constantly. The water, biofilm and substrate, with their established community, acts as a buffer against pathogen intrusion. An established community of beneficial bacterias and fungus compete for room. They exude hydrolytic enzymes and antibiotics to suppress the growth of non communal pathogens. There is a synergism between the antibiotics and hydrolytic enzymes produced by bacteria. Firstly, the enzymes degrade the cell wall of the pathogen, and secondly, this enables the toxin to act more efficiently against the pathogen by gaining access at an intracellular level. Beneficial Microbes | Nitrification Nitrification is the aerobic conversion of ammonia into nitrates. The bacteria responsible for this process form a biofilm on all solid surfaces throughout the system that are in constant contact with the water. The submerged roots, substrate and tank walls combined have a large surface area, so that single floating bacteria can accumulate and begin to form their natural environment of a biofilm. Care for these bacterial colonies is important not only to keep pathogens in check, but also to regulate the full assimilation of ammonia and nitrite for effective Hydro-Organic Nitrification. Nitrification is one of the most important functions in the OTS Hydro-Organic system as it reduces the toxicity of the organic compounds in the water and allows the resulting nitrate compounds to be used by the plants for nourishment. Organic compounds can be converted into other nitrogenous compounds through healthy populations of Nitrosomonas bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrites, and Nitrobacter bacteria that convert nitrites into nitrates, which is the preferred nitrogen for more than 90% of all plant...

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Trichoderma | Astonishing Fungi

Trichoderma |  Astonishing Fungi

Trichoderma Fungus General Description The fungus Trichoderma is a filamentous, free-living fungi that are common in most soils and root ecosystems worldwide. Trichoderma have been found in prairies, forests, salt marshes, desert sands, lake water, dead plant material, seeds and air. They are also found in living roots of virtually any plant (1). Biocontrolfungi of Trichoderma have developed an astonishing ability to interact, both parasitically and symbiotically, in a variety of substrates, plants and with other microbes (2,3). Today Trichodermas is used more extensively in agriculture than any other single microbe. There are many effective Trichoderma species. So far, there are only 7 important Trichoderma species used commercially but more are being added to the list every year. Trichoderma asperellum Trichoderma harzianum Trichoderma hamatum Trichoderma koningii Trichoderma longibrachiatum Trichoderma pseudokoningii Trichoderma viride Trichoderma Fungus Mode of Action Trichoderma’s first claim to fame a few years ago was being a microbial predator, highly antagonistic of other fungus. They are specialists at killing other fungi with a  toxin. They then consume their prey by dissolving them with an exudent of lytic enzymes. This predatory behavior has led to their use to control other fungi plant disease. Interestingly enough it does not seam to have a negative influences over mycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhyzal is another very beneficial fungus in the rhysophere. Cornell University’s recent research is quite interesting. It has found that Trichoderma’s disease control function is only the tip of the iceberg. In actuality, Trichoderma has a quite well defined symbiotic relationship with plant roots. They not only inhibit other fungus but supplying nitrogen to plant roots much like mycorrhizal fungus Trichoderma establish robust and long-lasting colonizations of root surfaces and penetrate into the epidermis and a few cells below this level. It then release different compounds that induce localized or systemic resistance responses. This explains their lack of pathogenicity to plants. These root–microorganism associations cause substantial changes to the plant proteome and metabolism. A recent discovery in several labs is that some strains induce plants to “turn on” their native defense mechanisms gives the impression that Thrichoderma will also control pathogens other than fungi. Plants are protected from numerous classes of plant pathogen by responses that are similar to systemic acquired resistance and rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance. Trichoderma Fungus Mode of Application Trichoderma is normally supplied as a culture developed on softened rice. Place a kilo of this inoculated rice in a pale of de-chlorinated water along with 5ml of any available surface tension breaker. Let it sit for an hour or so as to let the rice soften further. Grind the rice between your hands to liberate the fungus from the rice. Do this grinding for a few minutes until the Trichoderma is practically all washed off of the rice. The rice will be a much lighter shade of blue-green at this point. Strain the liquid in a fine meshed food strainer to take out the larger chunks of rice. This is important only if you are going to be spraying the liquid on the phylosphere of the plants for fungal control, so the spray head doesn’t clog. If it is to be applied as a drench on roots, obviously there is no need for pre-straining. References 1. Monte, E. 2001. Understanding Trichoderma: Between biotechnology and microbial ecology. Int. Microbiol. 4:1-4. 3. Harman, G. E., and Kubicek, C. P. 1998. Trichoderma and Gliocladium, Vol. 2. Enzymes, Biological Control and Commercial Applications. Taylor & Francis, London. 3. Kubicek, C. P., and Harman, G. E. 1998. Trichoderma and Gliocladium. Vol. 1. Basic Biology, Taxonomy and Genetics. Taylor & Francis,...

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Bean Seed Inoculation | Rhizobium Bacteria

Bean Seed Inoculation | Rhizobium Bacteria

Beans Produce their Own Fertilizer Bean Seed Inoculation helps legumes such as peas and beans to “fix” their own nitrogen. Beans produce much of their own nitrogen needs via a symbiotic relationship with a group of  bacteria called rhizobacteria or rhizobium. Rhizobium is a soil bacteria that fix nitrogen for legume plants. Our atmosphere contains more than 75% nitrogen gas (N2).  They convert the nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into ammonia nitrogen NH3+, a form usable by the plant.  Bean Seed Inoculation is important so as to ensure this bacteria-root dance. Colorado State University has a very well written page on Bean Seed Inoculation, if you are interested in reading the technical description of this process. Inoculating the seeds with Rhizobium bacteria before planting is helpful. Multifaceted Symbiosis All legumes, including beans, interact with the Rhizobium and interchanging metabolic fluids. Legume plants have the ability to form a symbiotic relationship with rhizobium bacteria. Inside the nodules, the bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia NH3+, providing organic nitrogenous compounds to the plant. In return, the plant provides the bacteria with organic compounds made by photosynthesis. The bean’s roots exude certain carbohydrates for the bacteria and in return the bacteria produce nutrients. The carbohydrates are basic food stuffs for the bacteria. This encourages the rhizobia to adhere to it. The bacteria multiply on the roots surface and cause more root hairs to grow. On these root hairs begins a process called ‘nodule formation”. The bacteria colonize plant cells within root nodules. Inside these small tumors the bacteria induce specialized genes required for nitrogen fixation. This important function allows bean plants to convert nitrogen from the gaseous form found in the air N2, into a usable form. This allows beans to use this nitrogen for plant growth. Without these beneficial bacteria, beans cannot fix nitrogen. Soils normally do not contain many rhizobium bacteria. So it is necessary to inoculate the legume with the proper strains of bacteria prior to planting the seeds. Bean Seed Inoculation is a low-cost process which returns benefits many times higher than the costs. Bean Seed Inoculation | Rhizobium Bacteria Bean Seed Inoculation couldn’t be easier. There is no special procedure really. Take 500ml of the OST Rhizobium, which contains at least 109 rizobios/gram and add 2 tablespoons of crude sugar. Place your seeds in it for a few minutes. Some seeds like a dunking for a few hours. This all depends on the state of the seeds being planted. Imported, older seeds could need a bit more time to hydrate than fresh seeds recently harvested. Afterwards, just plant the seeds. There is no drenching of soil or anything more to do. If your supply of the inoculate is limited, then you might want to reuse the liquid. Store it away in a cool place for the next batch. It’ is always better to store your containers of fungus and bacterias in the refrigerator if your not performing Bean Seed Inoculation...

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