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TitleMicrobiological Features and Bioactivity of a Fermented Manure Product (Preparation 500) Used in Biodynamic Agriculture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGiannattasio, M, Vendramin, E, Fornasier, F, Albherghini, S, Zanardo, M, Stellin, F, Concheri, G, Stevanto, P, Ertani, A, Nardi, S, Rizzi, V, Piffanelli, P, Spaccini, R, Mazzei, P, Piccolo, A, Squartini, A
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Start Page644
Keywordsauxin-like activity, biodynamic agriculture, biostimulants, horn manure, Preparation 500

The fermented manure derivative known as Preparation
500 is traditionally used as a field spray in biodynamic
agriculture for maintaining and increasing soil fertility.
This work aimed at characterizing the product from a
microbiological standpoint and at assaying its bioactive
properties. The approach involved molecular taxonomical
characterization of the culturable microbial community;
ARISA fingerprints of the total bacteria and fungal
communities; chemical elemental macronutrient analysis
via a combustion analyzer; activity assays for six key
enzymes; bioassays for bacterial quorum sensing and
chitolipooligosaccharide production; and plant hormonelike
activity. The material was found to harbor a bacterial
community of 2.38 × 108 CFU/g dw dominated by Grampositives
with minor instances of Actinobacteria and
Gammaproteobacteria. ARISA showed a coherence of
bacterial assemblages in different preparation lots of the
same year in spite of geographic origin. Enzymatic
activities showed elevated values of β-glucosidase, alkaline
phosphatase, chitinase, and esterase. The preparation had
no quorum sensing-detectable signal, and no rhizobial nod
gene-inducing properties, but displayed a strong auxin-like
effect on plants. Enzymatic analyses indicated a bioactive
potential in the fertility and nutrient cycling contexts. The
IAA activity and microbial degradation products qualify
for a possible activity as soil biostimulants. Quantitative
details and possible modes of action are discussed.

Refereed DesignationRefereed