For growers, everything is about yield and quality. The hunt for the best tricks, the most efficient product, at the lowest possible cost, without having to change growing practices can be dizzying! There are several products that have effects on yield or quality or both. Some products achieve better profitability, but what if they were integrated into a single product that growers already use: the growing medium. See how PRO-MIX®’s wide variety of value-added growing media incorporating cutting-edge active ingredients, which have proven to give growers the return on investment they are looking for, can revolutionize your practices. It is not a math error, with these products, we can literally say that 1+1=3.
Bacillus bacteria are forming a biofilm along mycorrhizal hyphae, showing that both microorganisms are compatible and that mycorrhizae will help Bacillus spread in more volume of the growing medium, thus increasing its biostimulation and biocontrol effects. Source: Premier Tech
In fact, the biological microorganisms, mycorrhizae (Glomus intraradices) and Bacillus pumilus, both incorporated in PRO-MIX® BIOFUNGICIDETM + MYCORRHIZAETM growing media (in the US) and PRO-MIX® BIOSTIMULANT + MYCORRHIZAETM (in Canada) work together in what we call a TRIPARTITE ASSOCIATION, which is why they both create a VALUE-ADDED COMBINATION. This means that they are both more efficient and profitable when teamed. But in the case of this tripartite, we can even say that the two make the trio!
Plant roots colonized by MYCORRHIZAE (Glomus intraradices, PTB297 Technology). Mycorrhizal structures (arbuscules and vesicles) mean that the symbiosis between the fungus and the plant is taking place. Source: Premier Tech
How Mycorrhizae and Bacillus Benefit Plants?
Both groups of organisms occur naturally in soils and are not genetically modified. They have been selected through a screening process for their growth enhancing properties or disease suppression. But what do they actually do and how do they help your plants?
Mycorrhizae are symbioses between mycorrhizal fungi and plants. The fungus colonizes the root system of plants, where it will get sugars and lipids necessary for its growth. Then, the fungus will develop a network extra-root filaments (hyphae) and grow out past the root system, into surrounding soil or soilless media environment where the plant roots are not present, to access water and nutrients to transfer them to the plant.
- Enhanced root system growth
- Enhanced water and nutrient uptake
- Increased plant resistance to environmental stresses (drought, compaction, salinity, low fertility)
- Reduced transplant shock
- More efficient nutrient use
Bacillus pumilus (PTB180 Technology) creating a biofilm around a plant root to ensure its protection. Source: Premier Tech
Bacillus are gram-positive bacteria which colonize plant roots. Their high motility gives them the ability to form a biofilm around the root system that ensures protection against pathogens. Some of them, like Bacillus pumilus, have antibacterial and antifungal properties on plants: by the secretion of lipopeptides (such as surfactin) which help suppress root rot diseases caused by Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia, and by inducing the plant's induced systemic resistance (ISR). They also secrete biostimulant molecules (auxins) that stimulate root growth and induce the proliferation of the root hairs to favor the absorption of nutrients and water.
They offer a wide variety of benefits, which we can group in two types: biocontrol and biostimulation
- Stronger plant disease resistance
- Reduced need for fungicide soil drenches
- Insecticide properties
- Accelerated seed germination & plant establishment
- Increased nutrient & water uptake
- Increased plant vigor and yield
- Increased plant tolerance to environmental stresses (drought, salinity, compaction)
Bacillus pumilus induces the proliferation of root hairs, increasing the plant’s water and nutrient uptake. Source: Premier Tech
As we can see, both microorganisms have major effects on plant quality and subsequently on yield. However, putting each organism alone will provide the individual beneficial effect on plant, while combining them will make them work harder into achieving greater results.
How Do Plants Get More Out of the Tripartite Association?
We finally arrive at our calculation of 1+1=3. What we call the “tripartite association” is the biological interaction between MYCORRHIZAE, BACTERIA and PLANT. Each partner of this association plays a crucial role to help other organisms thrive in the process. It is important to know that mycorrhizal fungi are obligate symbionts and need a plant to survive and complete their life cycle, compared to Bacillus bacteria which occur naturally in soils around the globe.
By enhancing root system growth and creating a network of filaments, mycorrhizae help plants with uptake of nutrients, such as phosphorus and certain micronutrients. In exchange, the plant provides carbon to the fungus and, by extension, to the root microbiome including our Bacillus pumilus growing along the mycorrhizal hyphae. The symbiotic relationship between fungi and plant results in overall improved plant growth.
The association - Step by step:
- Mycorrhizal fungi colonize plants
- Plant gives carbohydrates to the fungi in exchange for water & nutrients they provide
- The hyphae explore the soil/growing media, exuding carbon along their hyphae
- Bacteria absorb this carbon and multiply along the hyphae
- Bacteria liberate lipopeptides, hormones, produce a biofilm, and proliferate root hairs
- Plant protection & stimulation effects
The key to understanding this interaction is by observing the high level of compatibility between mycorrhizae and Bacillus bacteria. As mycorrhizal hyphae can explore the growing media further than roots, helping bacteria multiply along the way, the higher and wider-spread population of bacteria will have a multiplied biostimulation and protection effect across the whole substrate.
Bacillus bacteria can reach soil far from the inoculation point by multiplying along mycorrhizal hyphae. Source: Premier Tech
The Added Value of the Mycorrhizae and Bacillus Combination
The benefits from both active ingredients will improve crop quality and yield, with other documented effects on:
- Soil structure
- Stress resistance
- Insect suppression (certain products in the US)
- Mortality rate decrease
- Regulated plant growth
- Uniformity of plants in a crop
- Increased plant productivity
Both active ingredients were developed and produced by Premier Tech, the owner of the PRO-MIX® brand, and a manufacturer who has more than 35 years of expertise in biological active ingredients. Using mycorrhizae and Bacillus combined, in a single pre-mixed top-of-the-line growing medium is maximizing your chance to get optimal results. Why make it complicated, when you can make it simple, while offering your plants a unique party of 3!