Engineered Ecosystem Development For Agro-Process Intensification
Free (open access)
485 - 495
G. Akay & S. Fleming
The principles of Process Intensification and Miniaturization technology, originally developed for chemicals processing, biotechnology and tissue engineering were applied to achieve plant growth and crop yield enhancement, which can be described as AgroProcess Intensification (A-PI). The basic principle of A-PI is the enhancement of multiple interactions between plant roots, water, nutrients, bacteria using micro-(bio)reactors as synthetic rhizosphere in soil (SRS) which is a highly porous nano-structured hydrophilic ionic macro-porous polymer. If soil fertility is not limited by water, nutrients or bacteria then these soil additives do not have any function, although they can still be used as root delivery system for plant protection. In this study, we used nutrient and bacterium depleted soil with or without water stress to grow soybean in order to demonstrate the effect of the SRS in enhancing biomass growth under stress. Through an extensive scanning electron microscopy studies, it is shown that AgroProcess Intensification is achieved through the association of the plant roots with SRS which retains both soil water and nutrients and transfer them to the plant while protecting the nitrogen fixing bacterium. Implications of this method are discussed in terms of engineering of ecosystem to grow crops and biomass in substandard soil under water and fertilizer stress. Keywords: AgroProcess Intensification, agriculture, fertilizer stress, nitrogen fixation, soil additives, symbiosis, synthetic rhizosphere, water stress.
AgroProcess Intensification, agriculture, fertilizer stress, nitrogen fixation, soil additives, symbiosis, synthetic rhizosphere, water stress