Abdel Wahab M. Mahmoud1, Asmaa Badr El-din Sayed El-Attar2, Sanaa Esmail Ahmed Esmail2 and Hoda Sany2
1Cairo University, Faculty of Agriculture, Plant Physiology Department, 12613 Giza, Egypt
2Cairo University, Faculty of Agriculture Ornamental department, 12613 Giza, Egypt
Mahmoud, A. W. M., El-Attar A. B., Esmail, S. E. A. & Sany, H. (2020) Boosting biochemical composition of stevia plant using biochar loaded with beneficial microorganism strains. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 26 (4), 748–760
The present research was carried out to determine the effect of biochar loaded with either inorganic nitrogen or beneficial microorganism strains (individual and in combination) on biochemical composition and nutritional values of stevia plants (Stevia rebaudiana) grown in sandy soil for two continuous seasons (2018–2019) compared with commercial chemical NPK fertilizers (control). Growth parameters (plant height, number of leaves, leaf area and leaf area index), besides chemical constituents symbolized in (total chlorophylls, ash, protein, fiber, total carbohydrates, essential and non-essential amino acids, mineral nutrients (N, P, K, Mg, Fe and Zn), stevioside, fatty acids and vitamins) were recorded at 60, 90 and 120 days after transplanting. The obtained results in response to the different treatments of biochar and microorganism strains indicated that biochemical ingredients and nutritional values of stevia plants were boosted in comparison to control plants. Hence the application of biochar loaded with beneficial microorganisms as organic and biofertilizers can improve plant growth, enhance plant biochemical components, and ensure safety and sustainable production particularly in new reclaimed areas.