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METHODS OF DETERMINATION OF BNF IN SUGAR CANE USING DELTA 15N

Grant number: 10/02736-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2010
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Heitor Cantarella
Grantee:Cybeli Alves de Oliveira
Host Institution: Instituto Agronômico (IAC). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/56147-1 - Nitrogen nutrition of sugarcane with fertilizers or diazotrophic bacteria, AP.BIOEN.TEM

Abstract

More than 8 million hectares of sugarcane for sugar and ethanol production are grown in Brazil, of which about 5 million hectares are in the State of São Paulo. Nitrogen is needed in large quantities for biomass production and is the most expensive nutrient in fertilizer formulations for sugarcane. Moreover, it is estimated that synthesis of fertilizer N accounts for about 25% of all the fossil energy spend in field operations for ethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil. The actual contribution of BNF to sugarcane is controversial, although it is generally recognized that it presents a great potential especially in Brazil. BNF is affected by plant variety, bacteria species and plant-bacteria interaction. An inoculant produced with five strains of N2-fixing diazotrophs was recently developed but has not been extensively tested under field conditions. This project has the objective of studying the contribution of BNF to sugarcane production compared with the use of synthetic N fertilizer in five sites, evaluating If BNF can be managed in order to reduce the use of N fertilizer, either by inoculating plants in the field, or by learning the conditions that could favor N2 fixation or still by breeding plants more able to benefit from BNF, the impact for bionergy production from sugarcane will be of great economic and environmental significance.

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