The 1001 project titled “Establishment of a Wheat-Specific Microbial Consortium and Design of a New Biofertilizer Formulation by Immobilization of the Consortium into PolyHipe Polymer”, which is carried out by Prof. Dr. Yelda Özden Çiftçi, a faculty member of Gebze Technical University, has been decided to be supported by TÜBİTAK.
The project aims to identify the microbiomes unique to each plant species and to create unique and new microbial consortia from them. For this purpose, natural microbial associations isolated from our soils with high wheat yields will be combined with the new and unique PGB-invit bacteria and PolyHIPE material, which have been previously characterized by our team, to create new biofertilizer formulations and to reveal all the dynamics, interactions and effects of the bioformulation on the yield and quality of two wheat varieties. As a method within the scope of the project proposal; soil samples will be taken from high yielding wheat fields, transferred to pots and seeds of ‘Emin Bey’, a durum wheat variety, will be planted to activate the microbiome in its content. At the stage when the plant has 3-4 leaves (approximately 1 month), rhizospheric soil samples will be taken and total DNA will be isolated directly. The total DNA isolated will be sequenced by metagenomic analysis and the core and accessory microbial taxa and hubs (main microorganisms with the highest intermicrobial interactions) will be identified by network analysis for the total microbial consortium obtained. Afterwards, bacteria with the desired characteristics will be isolated and purified from the DNA isolated soils and biochemical tests will be performed on 100 selected bacteria for preliminary identification. In addition, nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, siderophore and indole acetic acid production and biofilm formation properties of the selected 100 bacteria will be screened. Common and suitable medium(s) will be identified using KOMODO (Known-Media Database), a web-based platform for co-culturing with 20 selected isolates and PGB-invite endophytic bacteria and for co-propagation of the species (final consortium members consisting of at least 3 core, 2 hub and 2 accessory lineages) without loss. The microbial consortium will be immobilized to the relatively controlled release PolyHIPE polymer and a new biofertilizer formulation (product prototype) will be created. Pot trials of the product prototype with durum ‘Emin Bey’ and bread wheat ‘Bezostaya-1’ varieties will be carried out with HEKTAŞ AŞ to determine the effect of microbial fertilizer on the yield and quality of wheat plants.