Combined application of biochar and PGPR consortia for sustainable production of wheat under semiarid conditions with a reduced dose of synthetic fertilizer

  • Muhammad Ijaz
  • Muhammad Tahir
  • Muhammad Shahid
  • Sami Ul-AllahEmail author
  • Abdul Sattar
  • Ahmad Sher
  • Khalid Mahmood
  • Mubshar HussainEmail author
Environmental Microbiology - Research Paper


This study investigates the combined effect of locally adopted plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), biochar, and synthetic fertilizer on the wheat crop for the production and economic returns. A total of 20 PGPR strains were isolated from three different ecological zones of Pakistan and were evaluated. Of them, three isolates were selected for further studies. The treatments included (i) control with a full dose of the recommended fertilizer, (ii) control with half a dose of the fertilizer, (iii) PGPR consortia with half a dose of the fertilizer, (iv) biochar with half a dose of the fertilizer, and (v) PGPR + biochar with half a dose of the fertilizer. The study was repeated at three different locations. The data collected for leaf area index (LAI), grain yield, biological yield, straw yield, and harvest index (HI) revealed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) for the locations and treatments, but the interaction of location and treatments was not significant. Based on the productivity and economic returns, the treatment with PGPR + biochar with half a dose of the fertilizer proved to be the best. Thus, the use of the PGPR consortia and biochar can improve the yield and profit of wheat crop with reduced synthetic fertilization.

Graphical abstract


Biochar PGPR Nitrogen fixation Grain yield Economic returns 


Supplementary material

42770_2019_43_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Ijaz
    • 1
  • Muhammad Tahir
    • 2
  • Muhammad Shahid
    • 3
  • Sami Ul-Allah
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdul Sattar
    • 1
  • Ahmad Sher
    • 1
  • Khalid Mahmood
    • 4
  • Mubshar Hussain
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.College of AgricultureBahauddin Zakariya UniversityLayyahPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesCOMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari CampusVehariPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Bioinformatics and BiotechnologyGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Agro-ecology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyAarhas UniversityAarhusDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Agronomy, FAS&TBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan

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