1. Agriculture World

Tree Fungus supplement could lessen use of fertilizer in Tomato crops

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma
Tomato crops

Although Ceriporia lacerata fungus causes tree wood to decay it has a good side as well. According to new studies, fungus to agricultural soil allows tomatoes to grow with less fertilizer. 

Tomatoes have a long growth period and require more nutrients than many other crops. To fulfill the nutrients, farmers start applying good quantity of chemical fertilizers to the tomato field. 

This process is time-consuming and expensive, and it also lessens the populations of beneficial microbes in the soil. It is one reason for pollution, and excess fertilizer runs out of the ground and damps into waterways. The application of chemical fertilizers might boost tomato yields, but they often reduce the fruit quality. 

While growing on trees and when present in the soil, it releases enzymes such as proteases and phosphatases to obtain nutrients from the environment.  

Scientists at China’s Southwest University, Mr. Jianguo Huang, studied a specific strain of the Ceriporia fungus which is harmless to tomatoes. 

This process frees up the nutrients, including previously applied fertilizers, which would otherwise absorb “locked up” within naturally occurring compounds in the soil. These nutrients can take by the plants further. 

During the field test, the HG2011 strain of Ceriporia lacerata was added to both fertilized and non-fertilized soil; it improves the nutrient value and the yield of tomato plants growing in that soil. Importantly, the fungus enhanced the nutritional value and flavor of the fruit by increasing its sugar to acid ratio along with its soluble sugar and vitamin C content. 

It is hoping that the compost incorporating fungus could be used in an economical supplement, which would reduce the need for traditional fertilizers. 

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