Studies to Improve the Shelf Life of Azospirillum Lipoferum Immobilized In Alginate Beads

*Reetha. D., Kumaresan. G and John Milton. D
Azospirillum, alginate, encapsulation, humic acid, skimmed milk powder and starch

One of the successful, safe and effective methods to introduce bioinoculants in soil is encapsulation of cells in biodegradable gel matrices which not only releases the microorganisms to the soil gradually but also helps to increase the survival rate by protecting them against many environmental stresses. The present study to develop the gel based formulation of Azospirillum bioinoculant to reduce chemical fertilizers that cause environmental problems. This new gel based formulation consists of dry beads containing nitrogen fixing Azospirillum cells. They were produced by quick encapsulation and drying processes, are made of alginate (2.5%) and enriched with different additives like skimmed milk poweder (8.0%), starch (25.0%) and humic acid (0.8%) and can contain up to 108 CFU g-1 of dry beads at the end of 360 days. This gel based formulation have been formulated to reduce the production cost, favour its storage and easy its application in the field and the results showed that gel based formulation is far better than the carrier formulation (lignite)