A research team from Kyung Hee University in South Korea has developed an eco-friendly microorganism fertiliser technology that can turn methanol generated by livestock in agricultural areas into a hormone that promotes plant growth.
Methylotrophic bacillus is a microorganism that decomposes methane using methanol to take it as an energy source.
At constant temperature and pressure conditions, methane can be converted into high value-added materials such as alcohol, organic acids, olefins and biopolymers.
The research team redesigned the metabolic pathway of the methylotrophic bacillus and turned the methane in the air into a hormone that supports the growth and rooting of plants.
The methylotrophic bacillus creates a metabolic pathway in which methane is digested as an amino acid L-tryptophan to enhance the productivity of L-tryptophan as well as to turn it into a plant growth-supporting hormone, indole acetic acid.
As a result of processing wheat seed with the microorganism fertiliser, growth of sprouts and roots were two- and 3.6-times higher than in a non-processed control group.