Over the last few decades, warm areas have experienced sudden changes in temperature. Winters are becoming progressively colder, and this represents an obstacle for some industries, such as agri-food. These temperature changes, together with other global warming consequences such as a general increase in soil salinity due to drought conditions, have caused the deterioration of crops, reducing both their quality and productivity. The huge impact global warming has had, and still has, on crops has created an urgent need to develop new tools that allow crop resistance to these adverse conditions. Currently, synthetic fertilizers are extensively used for this purpose, but they present a series of environmental and health risks.
The researchers have developed a biostimulant based on Pararhizobium sp. strains isolated in their lab. The biostimulant, not only increases crops’ protection against abiotic stress (more specifically cold and salinity) but has also been proven to increase overall crop production and quality.
The efficiency of this new biostimulant has already been validated on rapeseed and tomato crops.
The following steps have been proposed to increase the technology’s TRL:
- Biochemical assays are being developed to determine the mechanism of action of the Pararhizobium sp. strains on crops.
- Testing the biostimulant’s efficacy on other crops is being considered.
- Provides crop protection against cold and salinity.
- The technology is based on bacterial strains that have not been isolated before, hence promoting species diversification.
- Easy to scale, given the fact that the strains are stable and have suitable growth conditions for the industry (between 20 and 30°C).
- Provides an improvement in crop quality.
- Provides yield improvement.
The represented institution is looking for a collaboration that leads to the commercial exploitation of the presented invention.
Institution: Universitat de Barcelona
Protection status: Patent Application
Contact: Nuria Bas / firstname.lastname@example.org