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ITQB NOVA - Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

1934. Evaluating biofertilizing strains

Instituição: ITQB NOVA - Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Responsável: Renata Ramalho
Nº Alunos: 2
Anos: 10º, 11º, 12º
Área: Biologia
Data: de 22-08-2022 a 02-09-2022 Horário: Manhã
Investigador(es): Dr. Juan Ignacio Vilchez, Ana Sofia Santos, Inês Romão

Descrição: Biofertilizers are the new generation of biotechnological tools for a sustainable agriculture management. They are based on bacteria capable of interacting with plants in a beneficial way. They can help plants to grow better, resist stresses and fight pests and pathogens. To identify them, we usually isolate them from the environment and later they must be evaluated by screening to select the most suitable ones. Thus, we can characterize the strains by their plant growth promoting abilities. The ability to enhance the presence of nutrients, such as the production of siderophores to capture metal ions, or the solubilization of phosphate to make it more available, are some of the most important abilities. The presence of these metal ions is necessary for many developmental processes in plants (such as the presence of iron to carry out chlorophyll-mediated photosynthesis, or the presence of manganese for signalling between cells during several developmental phases). On the other hand, phosphate is one of the primary nutrients, but it is usually in an insoluble state, so plants cannot easily acquire it. Moreover, the production of phytohormones is very relevant for the development of plants. Bacteria, are capable of producing, for example, aux-ins, a phytohormone capable of stimulating root growth and the production of secondary roots. Finally, many bacteria can carry out the above mechanisms, but cannot colonize the roots. To choose the most suitable ones, it would be necessary for them to show some colonization mechanism, such as the production of biofilm. In this sense, we propose a screening activity to evaluate which strains isolated from the soil could be used as biofertilizers in plants. For this we will carry out a series of semi-solid plate tests, as well as some rapid colorimetry tests for the different skills explained above. These biochemical tests could be complemented with tests in plants, thus evaluating if the candidates were correctly chosen to be used as biofertilizers.
The team is composed of national and international researchers. Therefore, it is important that you feel comfortable working in English.
If the students prefer, the internship can be done in the afternoon instead of in the morning.

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1º Dia de Estágio

Local de encontro: ITQB NOVA Main Entrance Hora: 10h
Pessoa de contacto: Dr. Juan Ignacio Vilchez, Ana Sofia Santos, Inês Romão

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