Potential of Integrated Use of Bacillus sp. AZ6 and Organic Waste for Zinc Bio-Activation to Improve Physiological Attributes of Maize
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Department of Soil Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, 63100-Pakistan
College of Life Sciences, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, China
Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 38040-Pakistan
Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Lahore, Main Campus, Lahore, 54000-Pakistan
Department of Agronomy, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, 63100-Pakistan
Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, MNS, University of Agriculture Multan, Pakistan
Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Kasur, Govt. of Punjab, Pakistan
Xuikang Wang   

College of Life Sciences, Yan’an University, Yan’an 716000, China, China
Submission date: 2021-04-11
Final revision date: 2021-07-18
Acceptance date: 2021-09-18
Online publication date: 2022-02-04
Publication date: 2022-03-22
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2022;31(2):1645–1652
Zinc (Zn) is an important micronutrient for plant physiology, including the activation of various enzymes, nitrogen metabolism, cell-membrane integrity, and carbonic anhydrase activity. Its deficiency is reported in plants grown in poor soils worldwide including Pakistan. Exogenous application of Zn fertilizers is not efficient due to fixation into the soil. Thus, Zn solubilizing bacteria have a stronger power to chelates the insoluble Zn compounds which may increase Zn availability for plant uptake. Therefore, a pot trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of four products of bio-activated zinc oxide (ZnO) formulated using bio augmented-organic matter coated with zinc oxide (BOZ) on the physiological attributes of maize. Four different products viz. BOZ1, BOZ2, BOZ3, and BOZ4 were prepared using Bacillus sp. AZ6 strain augmented orange peel and ZnO. The results revealed that BOZ4 formulation performed outclass by exhibiting 85%, 31%, and 108% higher photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate, respectively, compared to control. Likewise, it showed a maximum increase in carbonic anhydrase activity, vapor pressure deficit, electrolyte leakage, and SPAD value by 74%, 44%, 45%, and 66%, respectively, over control. Hence, it is concluded that bio-activation of ZnO by Bacillus sp. AZ6 and orange-peel waste could serve as an effective strategy to improve the physiology of maize.