Front Microbiol. 2022 Dec 22;13:1048154. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.1048154. eCollection 2022.
The abuse of chemical fertilizers in intensive agriculture has turned out in the contamination of ground and the soil on which they are applied. Likewise, the generation, storage, and destruction of plant residues from the agri-food industry poses a threat to the environment and human health. The current situation of growing demand for food implies the urgent need to find sustainable alternatives to chemical fertilizers and the management of agricultural waste. Valorization of this plant residue to produce natural biofertilizers using microbiological treatments is presented as a sustainable alternative. The microbial activity allows the transformation into simple molecules that are easily absorbed by plants, as well as the stimulation of plant growth. This double direct and indirect action induced significant increases against the variables of germination, viability, and biomass (dry weight). To guarantee biosafety, it is necessary to use new bio-technological tools, such as metagenomics, which allow the taxonomic analysis of microbial communities, detecting the absence of pathogens. In the present paper, a physicochemical and metagenomic characterization of a fertilizer obtained from agricultural plant waste valorization is carried out. Likewise, fertigation treatments were tested to which the Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) Pseudomonas agronomica and Bacillus pretiosus were added, both independently and in consortium. Metagenomic analysis has identified taxa belonging to the kingdoms Bacteria and Archaea; 10 phyla, 25 families, 32 genera and 34 species, none of them previously described as pathogenic. A 1/512 dilution of the fertilizer increased the germination rate of Medicago sativa (alfalfa) by 16% at 144 h, compared to the treatment without fertilizer. Both the fertilizer and the addition of PGPB in a double direct and indirect action induced significant increases against the variables of germination, viability, and biomass (dry weight). Therefore, the use of an agricultural residue is proposed, which after the addition of two new species is transformed into a biofertilizer that significantly induces plant growth in Mendicago sativa plants.