Biofertilizer Advantages, Types, Working Principle

Biofertilizer Advantages & Types of Biofertilizers

Today, let us learn the topic of Biofertilizer advantages, types of Biofertilizers and working principle of Biofertilizer.

What is Biofertilizers? Biofertilizers are the substance that contains microorganism’s living cells. Biofertilizers increases the nutrients of host plants when useful to their seeds, plant surface or soil by colonizing the rhizosphere of the plant. Biofertilizers add nutrients through the natural process of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, phosphorus, and stimulating plant growth through the synthesis of growth-promoting substances. They can be categorized in many different ways based on their nature and function.

Biofertiliser is the lowest cost source of plant nutrients, eco-friendly and has a supplementary function with chemical fertilizers. What is the role of Biofertilizers? The role of Biofertilizers is essential in Agriculture. These are natural fertilizes which are living microbial inoculants of bacteria, algae, fungi alone or in combination and they increase the availability of nutrients to the plants. There are many advantages of Biofertilizer in agriculture crops, let us get into details of  Biofertilizer advantages and different types of Biofertilizer. 

Nitrogen Biofertilizers

This group fixes nitrogen symbiotically. Nitrogen biofertilizers help to accurate the nitrogen levels in the soil. Nitrogen is a limiting factor for plant growth because plants want a certain amount of nitrogen in the soil to thrive. Different Biofertilizers have an optimum result in different soils, so the choice of nitrogen biofertilizer to be used depends on the cultivated crop. Rhizobia are used for legume crops, Azotobacter or Azospirillum are used for non-legume crops, Acetobacter for sugarcane and blue-green algae and Azolla for lowland rice paddies.

Phosphorus Biofertilizers

Just like nitrogen, phosphorus is a limiting factor for plant growth. Phosphorus Biofertilizers help the soil to attain its optimum level of phosphorus and correct the phosphorus levels in the soil. The usage of these Biofertilizers is not dependent on the crops cultivated on the soil. Phosphate is used for all crops with Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, and Acetobacter.

Compost Biofertilizers

Biofertilizers are used for the enrichment of your compost and for enhancement of the bacterial processes that break down the compost waste. Appropriate Biofertilizers for compost use are cellulolytic fungal cultures and Phosphoric and Azotobacter cultures.

Cellulolytic Biofertilizer

The biofertilizer which increases the rate of decomposition procedure of organic matter. Proper Biofertilizer for compost use is cellulolytic fungal culture. Cellulolytic biofertilizer is called compost fertilizer.

The main sources of Biofertilizers are fungi, bacteria, and cyanobacteria i.e., BGA (blue-green algae).

Types of Biofertilizers:

What are the types of biofertilizers?

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Cyanobacteria

Bacteria Biofertilizers are the most ordinary types of Biofertilizers. They are bacteria that help in fixing different nutrients required for plant growth in the soil. They fix Nitrogen, solubilize Phosphorus and secrete other growth-enhancing substances to maintain plant growth.

Examples of bacteria Biofertilizers are Azotobacter, Clostridium, Rhizobium, etc.; the most popular bacteria Biofertilizer is the Rhizobium.

Fungi Biofertilizer

Fungi Biofertilizers are non-green microorganisms; aside from making phosphorus obtainable in the soil for plant uptake, they help to aggregate the soil structure. For fungi Biofertilizer to deliver as expected, it has to appear a symbiotic relationship within the roots of the plant. Such a relationship is known as Mycorrhiza; with this relationship, the fungi Biofertilizer will effectively allow the release and absorption of nutrients, particularly Phosphorus.


Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae. These kinds of Biofertilizers are both aquatic and terrestrial organisms that help to fix atmospheric Nitrogen for plant use. Examples of cyanobacteria are Azolla, species of Nostoc and Anabaena. Azolla is a Biofertilizer plant of high importance in agriculture; it supplies Nitrogen for crop growth and a rich source of protein in livestock feed.

Read: Snail Farming Techniques.

Working principles of Bio-fertilizer

  • Biofertilizers fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the soil and root nodules of legume crops and make it presented to the plant.
  • They solubilize the insoluble forms of phosphates like tricalcium, iron and aluminum phosphates into obtainable forms.
  • Biofertilizers scavenge phosphate from soil layers.
  • They create hormones and antimetabolites which promote root growth.
  • They are decomposing organic matter and help in mineralization in soil.
  • When applied to seed or soil, Biofertilizers increase the availability of nutrients and develop the yield by 10 to 25% without adversely affecting the soil and the environment.

Some examples of Biofertilizers are explained below;

  • Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixers Rhizobium spp.
  • Azotobacter
  • Azospirillum
  • Blue Green Algae Biofertilizers
  • Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria
  • AM fungi
  • Mycorrhizae


Rhizobium is relatively more effective and generally used Biofertilizer. Rhizobium, in association with legumes, fixes atmospheric nitrogen. The legumes and their symbiotic association with the Rhizobium bacterium effect in the formation of root nodules that fix atmospheric nitrogen. Successful nodulation of the leguminous crop by rhizobium mostly depends on the availability of a compatible stain for a particular legume. Rhizobium population in the soil is dependent on the occurrence of legumes crops in the field. In the absence of legumes, the population of Rhizobium in the soil diminishes.


Azotobacter is a common soil bacterium. Azotobacter chroococcum is present extensively in Indian soil. Soil organic matter is an important factor that decides the growth of these bacteria.


Azospirillum is identified to have a close associative symbiosis with the higher plant system. These bacteria have a connection with cereals like; sorghum, maize, pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, and other minor millets and fodder grasses.

Blue Green Algae (BGA):

Blue-green algae are referred to as rice organisms as of their abundance in the rice field. Many species fit into the genera, Tolypothrix, Nostic, Schizothrix, Calothrix, Anoboenosois, and Plectonema are abundant in tropical conditions. Most of the nitrogen fixation BGA consisting of a chain of the vegetative cell including specialized cells known as heterocyst which function as a micro nodule for synthesis and nitrogen-fixing machinery.

Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB): 

Phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) Biofertilizers are beneficial bacteria capable of solubilizing inorganic phosphorus from insoluble compounds. The p-solubilization capability of rhizosphere microorganisms is considered to be one of the main important traits associated with plant phosphate nutrition. Phosphate solubilizing bacteria have been introduced to the Agricultural community as phosphate Biofertilizer. Phosphorus (P) is one of the main essential macronutrients for plants and is applied to soil in the form of phosphate fertilizers.

AM fungi:

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) constitutes a group of root obligate biotrophs that exchange mutual benefits with about 80% of plants. They are considered natural biofertilizers, since they give the host with water, nutrients, and pathogen protection, in exchange for photosynthetic products. Thus, AM Fungi are primary biotic soil components which, when missing or impoverished, can lead to a less efficient ecosystem functioning. The procedure of re-establishing the natural level of AMF richness can represent a valid alternative to conventional fertilization practices, with an inspection to sustainable agriculture. The major strategy that can be adopted to achieve this goal is the direct re-introduction of AMF propagules (inoculum) into a target soil. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi were described to normally lack host- and niche-specificity, and therefore suggested as agriculturally suitable for a wide range of plants and environmental conditions.


Mycorrhizae are a group of fungi that contain a number of types based on the different structures formed inside or outside the root. These are specific fungi that match with a number of favorable parameters of the host plant on which it grows. This includes soil type, the existence of particular chemicals in the soil types, and other conditions.

These fungi develop on the roots of these plants. In fact, seedlings that have mycorrhizal fungi growing on their roots survive improved after transplantation and grow faster. The fungal symbiont gets shelter and food from the plant which, in turn, acquires an array of advantages such as better uptake of phosphorus, salinity and drought tolerance, maintenance of water balance, and overall raise in plant growth and development.

While choosing fungi, the right fungi have to be matched with the plant. There are particular fungi for vegetables, fodder crops, flowers, trees, etc. Mycorrhizal fungi can increase the yield of a plot of land by 30% to 40%. Mycorrhizal fungi can absorb phosphorus from the soil and pass it on to the plant. Mycorrhizal plants show higher tolerance to high soil temperatures, different soil- and root-borne pathogens, and heavy metal toxicity.

Read: Importance of Salt in Livestock Feed.

Application of Biofertilizers to crops:

How biofertilizers are applied to crops? The process of applying Biofertilizers to crops is explained below;

Seed treatment:

Each packet (200g) of inoculants is mixed with 200 ml of rice gruel or jaggery solution. The seeds necessary for one hectare are mixed in the slurry so as to have a uniform coating of the inoculants over the seeds and then shade dried for 30 minutes. The treated seeds must be used within 24 hours. One packet of inoculants is enough to treat to 10 kg seed. Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Azotobacter and Phosphobacteria Biofertilizers are applied as a seed treatment.

Seedling root dip:

This process is used for transplanting crops. Five packets (1.0 kg) of the inoculants are required for one hectare and mixed with 40 liters of water. The root portion of the seedlings is dipped in the solutions for 5 – 10 minutes and then transplanted. Azospirillum is used for seedling root dip mainly for rice.

Soil treatment:

4 kg each of the suggested biofertilizers is mixed with 200 kg of compost and kept overnight. This combines mixture is incorporated into the soil at the time of sowing or planting.

Advantages of Biofertilizer

There are many advantages to using Biofertilizer in an ecological environment. It promotes plant growth and makes healthy crop plants.

  1. First of all, Biofertilizer is an environmentally friendly component and help to decrease chemical fertilizer consuming.
  2. Biofertilizer can prepare easily at home or own field with low production cost. As well as it is obtained very easily.
  3. They control diseases and develop soil properties and fertility. Because it provides plant nutrient in the cheapest manner.
  4. Biofertilizer can increase crop productivity by up to 25 to 30 % due to the present of NPK.

That’s all folks about Biofertilizer advantages and types of Biofertilizers. Keep farming!.

Read: How to Grow Spices in Home Garden.


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