Bactivate Shield is a microbial soil ameliorant composed of live beneficial microorganisms that enhances the plant growth and protection by incorporating valuable life into the soil. Lack of technical information has limited most farmers in the use of microbial soil ameliorants. This document highlights the role of beneficial microorganisms in stimulating plant growth and protection and their use as biofertilizers to benefit unproductive and stressful environments.


The right bacteria for protection against root pathogenic fungi

The right bacteria in the right soil can do more than just break down organic matter, build the soil structure, fix nitrogen and release phosphorus and potassium from the soils. However, the key is having the right micro-organisms. Paenibacillus Polymyxa SQR 21, which is a ubiquitous bacterium commonly found in soils, is present in Bactivate Shield. Trichoderma Viride SQR T37 is a fungus and is also present in Bactivate Shield..

Paenibacillus Polymyxa SQR 21 and Trichoderma Viride SQR T37 colonize the rhizosphere, competing with some pathogenic fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and others, and by this means reducing the incidence of plant diseases caused by these pathogenic organisms. It has been shown that Paenibacillus Polymyxa SQR 21 and Trichoderma Viride SQR T37 reduced the colonization of Fusarium verticillioides in maize plant roots. (Qirong al. 2003)

What is a microbial soil ameliorant?

A microbial soil ameliorant is a culture of beneficial microorganisms (special bacteria and/or fungi) formulated along with a suitable carrier material that helps the soils improve their nutrient status for proper plant growth and health. These beneficial microorganisms can:

(1) Increase phosphorous uptake,

(2) Make atmospheric nitrogen available and readily accessible to roots,

(3) Promote the growth of roots by releasing plant regulation substances, and

(4) Strengthen plant health and give them a healthy environment for outstanding

plant growth and performance.

Agriculture’s frequent practices such as tillage and site preparation can reduce the population of beneficial microorganisms, which are one of the most important components of the soil as they carry out many important processes, vital for soil fertility and health. Their re-introduction using a microbial soil ameliorant in areas where they have been reduced will bring back life into the soil, greatly recovering its quality, and therefore improving plant’s health and establishment. A microbial soil ameliorant acts as a natural biocatalizer by assuring a quick colonization of the rhizosphere and root mass with beneficial microorganisms that will re-establish a healthy soil and help the plant perform better. A healthy plant with a healthy rhizosphere, dominated by beneficial microorganisms will make the most to the plant’s advantage. Farmers will get real economic benefits by applying this biotechnology to their own farming practices.

What are the effects of a microbial soil ameliorant?

A microbial soil ameliorant can help:

1. Create organic matter

2. Build soil structure

3. Produce auxins, cytokinins, and amino acids which help increase the chlorophyll and leaf area of plants

4. Produce acids that help release phosphate and potassium from the soil; as well as trace elements such as zinc, copper, vanadium, manganese, silicon.

What are beneficial microorganisms (bacteria & fungi)?

Beneficial microbes are a large group of organisms that, as soil inoculants, can be used to increase the microbial diversity of soils, improve soil’s quality, health, and the growth, yield, and performance of crops. These microorganisms are sometimes unknown or not very well identified and the beneficial effects are difficult to predict. The beneficial microorganisms can help improve the effect of management practices such as crop rotations, incorporation of organic amendments, conservation tillage, and crop residue recycling. Bacteria and certain fungi are only observable when they grow in colonies on nutrient agar or under light and electronic microscopes. Bacteria carry out or assist with metabolic activities such as respiration, photosynthesis, and the synthesis of biological macromolecules. Bacteria have the ability to form a resting spore, which allows them to survive extreme periods of heat, cold, and desiccation.

How do beneficial microorganisms build soil structure?

Along with the fungi, bacteria are important decomposers in the ecosystem; they digest the organic matter in the soils into smaller nutrient components, which are then available to the plants. Bacteria produce enzymes that allow them to digest the different forms of organic matter compounds. The humic compounds and organic glues (extracellular polysaccharides), secreted by the microorganisms bind soil particles together into aggregates and in this way increase the soil porosity and soil structure. Soils with good structure and porosity will provide outstanding conditions for plant growth.

Plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, but they also use oxygen for respiration, which is the process whereby plants break down stored sugars and starches to use as the energy for growth. Plants absorb oxygen from the root zone. Soils that have a poor soil structure will not have enough oxygen to allow this process to function optimally. Soils with poor structure can greatly improve when a microbial soil ameliorant is incorporated into the soil. The beneficial microbes will then break down soil compounds, release organic glues, and facilitate the re-aggregation of soil particles, improving the soil porosity and structure. In this way, soils with a good structure will provide plants with the

necessary oxygen in the root zone, as there will be an abundance of spaces for oxygen. A good soil structure will promote root growth and distribution, aeration and water penetration into the root zone.

It can be especially valuable to add Bactivate Shield to the soil to improve its porosity and build its structure as these two factors will improve the soil-plant relationship and gain a superior plant establishment.

How do beneficial microorganisms improve plant growth?

Many bacteria, called “plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria” can encourage plant growth. They encourage plant growth directly and/or indirectly by:

• facilitating nutrient uptake

• accelerating mineralization

• reducing plant stress

• providing nitrogen fixation, and

• promoting other beneficial microorganisms such as ‘mycorrhizal fungi

Many of the “Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria” are fluorescent pseudomonads (Pseudomonas fluorescens), but other bacteria, Bacillus sp., are known as well. Many wide-ranging beneficial Bacillus species have been formulated into Bactivate Shield and are all set to help plants increase their growth and performance.

Additional mechanisms that play a role in plant growth

Increased plant growth also happens because bacteria produce gibberellins. Gibberellins are tetracyclic diterpenoid acids that are involved in a number of developmental and physiological processes in plants. These processes include seed germination, seedling emergence, stem and leaf growth, floral induction and flower and fruit growth. Gibberellins are also implicated in the promotion of root growth, root hair abundance, inhibition of floral bud differentiation in woody angiosperms, regulation of vegetative and reproductive bud dormancy and delay of senescence in many organs of a range of plant species. In most processes gibberellins act in combination with other plant hormones. Gibberellins seem to be secondary metabolites that may play a role as signaling factors towards the host plant.

Understanding the soil rhizosphere system (pathogenic versus beneficial microorganisms)

The term “rhizosphere” describes the zone of soil surrounding the root with intense bacterial activity. The interactions between plant roots and the rhizosphere are beneficial to plant production through a number of mechanisms:

(1) increases in availability of soil phosphorous,

(2) N-fixation, and

(3) production of compounds that can inhibit the growth of plant pathogenic fungi.

Sustainable plant production can then be maximized by incorporating Bactivate Shield into the soil and balancing all the above beneficial effects. Pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms are all found in agricultural soils throughout the world. Some pathogenic microorganisms induce damping-off, root rot or vascular wilt of crops of economic importance, whereas others are unable to induce disease in a given plant species (Salerno et al. 2004). It has been already shown that beneficial microbes protect plants against pathogenic ones. Both pathogenic and beneficial microbes are able to colonize plant roots. However, beneficial microorganisms do not induce host tissue damage; in opposition, they establish a compatible interaction with the plant (Salerno et al. 2004). The differences in pathogenicity do appear to be linked to differences in polysaccharide degradation capacities between the two microorganisms once they have colonized the roots (Salerno et al. 2000). Differences between pathogenic and beneficial microbes may reside at the cellular level of root interaction. Plant tissue becomes rapidly disorganized in roots colonized by pathogenic strains whereas root tissues do not show signs of damage with progression of beneficial species (Salerno et al. 2000).  

Summary of the function and application of Bactivate Shield Introduction

Bactivate Shield has been developed to represent a complete ameliorant that provides unique stimulation to the developing biological activity within the soil structure. The humate upon which it is based contains humic acid, organic matter, and nitrogen, and these alone represent a large part of the soil content. As well as beneficial microorganisms, it provides trace elements, conversion, and structure that are needed to improve tired, nutrient deficient soils.

Beneficial Bacteria/Fungi

The bacteria convert nutrients that are available in Bactivate Shield into usable plant foods. This process is conducted within the area of the plant’s developing root system, and this in turn increases plant development and yield improvement. The abilities of plants treated with Bactivate Shield to resist pathogenic activity that is normal associated with broad acre farming (cereal crops, grasses, fruit and vegetable crops and so on) will be evident with prolonged use.

The Humate base

The evolution of soils, more specifically the humus content, is of great interest both for the progress of crop production and for its future abilities to provide an environment for sustainable farming. The reserve of the organic matter is significantly important in maintaining soil fertility features. It also generates physical and chemical improvement, as it is a means of storing moisture and nutritional elements and acting as a protection agent against certain natural phenomena such as erosion. Humates through cumulative effect, influence both the harvest and the evolution of organic matter in soil. Bactivate Shield, with its humate content, offers organic matter and humic acid levels that will encourage further development of these key areas in your soil structure.


Application & Storage

Application rate per hectare:

The application rate will depend on the crop and soil.

• It can be broadcast, through normal spreading machines - low rotation needed.

• It can be applied with and during the planting of seeds or applying other types of


• It must be stored in a dry place and not in direct sunlight.

• It can be stored up to 18 months from purchase unopened.

• It must be stored separately from other fertilizers.

• Do not store in open areas; all products must be covered.