Laboratory for Biological Nitrogen Fixation

Laboratory of the Department of Microbiology

The activity of this Laboratory is directed towards studying the biodiversity of rhizobial field populations and selection of high quality indigenous strains. Such research includes isolation, molecular identification as well as phenotypic and symbiotic characterization of indigenous rhizobial strains. The application of very sensitive and reliable molecular methods enables differentiation among closely related bacterial strains providing insight into the composition of natural rhizobial populations in the soils of Croatia. Different species and strains of rhizobia nodulating soybean, alfalfa, field pea, common bean and other important legumes were identified and characterized such as Bradyrhizobium japonicum, Sinorhizobium meliloti, Rhizobium leguminosarum, Rhizobium phaseoli  and others. As a result of these research activities, large rhizobial culture collection was established containing different indigenous strains isolated from particular regions of Croatia and that has application in scientific, professional and teaching activities of the Department.

Production of rhizobial inoculants for different legumes important for the agriculture of Croatia, belongs to a very significant and recognizable activity of this Laboratory. Long tradition and application of scientific research, has resulted in the creation of high quality inoculant (BiofixiN-S) that contributes considerably to sustainable legume production. In addition to inoculant production, there is continuous work on quality control and improving product properties as well as developing the entire production process. The application of selected indigenous strains in the production of high quality inoculant enables significant reduction of mineral nitrogen fertilization, thereby ensuring ecologically acceptable and cost-effective production of legumes as well as increasing soil fertility in different agroecological conditions of Croatia.

Head of the laboratory: Irina Tanuwidjaja, mag. ing. agr.

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