Our developments related to algae-biomass producing activities were started in 2007, since then these developments have been covering increasingly broader areas within the agriculture, in accordance with the ’bioeconomy ’ conception.
Our work in the field of algae-biotechnology includes research and development activities at all levels, from the selection of new algae strains through phototrophic and heterotrophic algae production to the development and testing of algae-bioreactors.
We also examine:
- the amount of CO2 captured due to biomass production
- valueable compounds of biomass produced (e.g. total nitrogen, phosphorus, protein and carbohydrate content, fatty acid content and structure, pigments etc.)
- the presence of functional materials which carry agricultural and industrial utility potential (e.g. plant hormone-like substances, carotenoids, unsaturated fatty acids)
- the optimal culture conditions (related to different algae strains) needed for the production maximization of different valuable materials, bearing cost-efficiency in mind (e.g. nutritional composition, pH, oxygen and CO2 needs).
One of the main aims of the mentioned R&D activities is the development of algae-biomass based products for the agricultural sector: fertilisers, soil or plant conditioners animal feed. We also examine the applicability of different materials, microbiology products in plant production at laboratory level and in hydroponic and soil cultures as well. The effects of these materials on germination, rooting, yield, viability and the resistance of the plants are also tested.
- The strains of bacteria used in microbial products are either selected from the collection of the Division for Biotechnology, or new strains are isolated from environmental samples (e.g. soil, plants). Our stock of microbes is dynamically growing as new strains showing encouraging results in laboratory tests concerning their potential successful application in plant production have constantly been added to the stock, as a result of our active microbe isolation and selection procedures.
- When selecting the strains, isolates which proved to support plant growth and development throughout the laboratory testing are preferred – those that can for example fix atmospheric nitrogen, mobilize phosphor and potassium, produce phytohormones (auxins, gibberellins etc.), increase the stress tolerance of the plant and in addition, those which have antagonistic effects on phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi, which is of particular importance.
- The classical microbiological procedures of studying and monitoring strains are complemented by various methods of molecular biology (PCR, qPCR, DGGE, metagenome sequencing).
Ákos KOÓS – Head of Department, Department of Biomass Production and Valorisation
Address: H-6726 Szeged, Derkovits fasor 2.