Fungal biofertilizer can boost cucumber crop health

A UCO study verifies that the FO12 strain of the  Fusarium oxysporum fungus improves responses to iron deficiency in cucumber plants, promoting their growth without having to resort to products that are harmful to the environment.

Iron is one of the most abundant elements in the earth's crust and a key element for crop nutrition. However, in calcareous soils (very abundant in Spain), it is quite a challenge for plants to be able to obtain iron from the soil due to its poor solubility and availability. It is then when iron deficiency appears, and plants activate different responses, mainly in their roots, to obtain this nutrient.

The research staff of the María de Maeztu Excellence Unit - Department of Agronomy of the University of Córdoba (DAUCO) - who work in the Plant Physiology group have been studying these plant responses for decades and looking for strategies that make iron more available for plants, avoiding iron chlorosis and increasing crop growth.

In the current context of climate change and the search for environmental conservation, it is essential that these solutions come hand in hand with sustainability, avoiding the abuse of chemical synthesis products which are harmful to the environment.


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