Bread and Beer - Wheat and barley production under reduced input in organic farming

Project number: 031B0909A

Contact: Prof. Dr. Sylvia Schnell, Institut für Angewandte Mikrobiologie

Justus-Liebig University Giessen


Project team: Prof. Dr. Christian Zörb, University Hohenheim, Institut für Kulturpflanzenwissenschaften (340e), Stuttgart

Duration: 01/02/2020 - 31/01/2024

Project aim

Evaluate the potential of seed inoculation with Hartmannibacter diazotrophicus of wheat and barley growth physiology and grain quality parameter under low nitrogen fertilization regime. Rhizosphere microbiome and root architecture analysis for understanding the potential effect of inoculation.  


Sustainable crop production is an urgent need for reducing climate gas emissions and nitrate loss into the groundwater. At the same time crop production has to fulfill high quality and quantity standards of grains and maintain soil functions. Plant growth-promoting bacteria are known to support nutrient supply for plants and mitigate plant stress level, however their effects have been mostly studied in greenhouse experiments. In a field application additionally the potential effect of bacterial inoculation on the indigenous soil microbial community will be studied.

Expected results

Insights into the specificity of rhizosphere microbiome of barley and wheat (two locations and two fertilization regimes).

Potential of H. diazotrophicus seed inoculation for mitigation of nutrient limitation and root growth stimulation of barley and wheat.

Identification of core microbial species and hub species (by microbial network analysis) and correlation with grain quality and quantity.