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PlantWorks to showcase research on Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soft Fruit

Enhancing the biology within soils and growing substrates is a proven strategy to increase fruit yields and quality whilst helping to modulate nutrient and water requirements as shown in extensive research.

PlantWorks will be on Stand 533 at Fruit Focus, Kent UK, to explain to visitors the science behind and the benefits of using both mycorrhizal fungi and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) in commercial top and soft fruit operations.

Mycorrhizal fungi are part of a large and diverse range of beneficial soil organisms and are one of the most well researched groups of soil microbes. These remarkable fungal organisms form multifunctional symbiotic associations with their hosts, to assist plants in nutrient acquisition and water uptake, to mediate carbon transfer and to protect plant roots from pathogens. Able to form an association with over 80% of all land- plants, mycorrhizal fungi offer a sustainable soil or media amendment strategy for a vast range of commercial crops, including most soft and top fruit grown in the UK.

In 2015 PlantWorks, the UK's only producer of mycorrhizal fungi, established a second manufacturing base at East Malling Research, with whom it collaborates on soft and top fruit production, to extend our understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which soil microbes support plant health and yield.

Following on from three years of collaborative work with East Malling Research (EMR) and a French consortium, research has shown that the use of mycorrhizal inocula results in consistent Class 1 yield benefits as well as reduced water requirements in the production of strawberries in coir. This work is continuing in 2016 under an Innovate UK funded project in partnership with Berry Gardens, EMR and Agrovista.

PlantWorks Ltd, originally formed as a spin out company from the International Institute of Biotechnology, remains a research lead company specialising in the improvement and enhancement of soil biology to increase plant efficiency.

To complement the use of mycorrhizal products, PlantWorks added research and production of PGPR’s to its portfolio. The synergistic effect of PGPR’s and mycorrhizal fungi further enhances nutrient availability and systemic resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses, thus offering ever more sophisticated products for a sustainable approach to commercial crop production.

The PlantWorks science team will be on hand to offer an insight into the fascinating world of soil microbes and to answer any questions that may arise concerning the use of mycorrhizal fungi.

For more information 
Fruit Focus
Jon Day, Event Director
T: 01788 892042

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