„Sustainable Innovation of Microbiome Application in the Food System”

SIMBA - Yield increase through plant growth-promoting microorganisms?

Plant growth-promoting microorganisms

The SIMBA (Sustainable Innovation of Microbiome Application in the Food System) project is concerned with the targeted use of beneficial, i.e. non-human pathogenic, microorganisms along the entire food production value chain.
The AOL is primarily responsible for research questions relating to the application of so-called plant growth-promoting microorganisms (PGPM) in agriculture. The focus here is on the transfer and reproducibility of initial results from laboratory and vascularised trials in the field.

Maize trial 2021 at the Wiesengut campus
Maize trial 2021 at the Wiesengut campus © J. Siebigteroth
Checking the placement of the inoculated maize grains
Checking the placement of the inoculated maize grains © Jonas Hett

Establishment of beneficial microorganisms

The successful establishment of beneficial microorganisms in the rhizosphere of cultivated plants can make a long-term contribution to reducing the dependence of agriculture on external production resources (e.g. mineral fertilisers and pesticides).

Project structure of the work packages

Within work package 2 (WP2) of the SIMBA project, the Chair of Agroecology and Organic Farming is taking on various tasks in theory and practice. Figure 2 provides an overview of the tasks that have already been successfully completed and the current work progress.

© JOnas Hett
Greenhouse trials
Greenhouse trials © Jonas Hett

Practical experimental projects

In the years 2019-2022, different microbial consortia were tested for their plant growth-promoting effect on various farms in Germany (NRW: Campus Wiesengut, Hennef and organic farm Wittfelder Hof, Wachtberg) and in Italy (including in cooperation with the University of Parma).

This was done under both organic and conventional cultivation conditions and taking into account a variety of important crops (maize, wheat, potatoes and tomatoes). Over the course of the vegetation period, various crop-related (e.g. biomass growth, yields, and nutrient content and uptake) and microbiological (e.g. metagenome analysis of the rhizosphere and bulk soil to detect the establishment and persistence of PGPMs) parameters were recorded at regular intervals.

Project titel: SIMBA (Sustainable Innovation of Microbiome Applications in the Food System)
Acronym: SIMBA
Duration: 11.2018 - 10.2022
Funding code: 818431 (SIMBA)

Europäische Union  -  Horizon 2020 Forschungs- und Innovationsprogramm

Project website:


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Dr. Daniel Neuhoff


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