RECOPE: Rhizosphere manipulations to enhance crop phosphorus use efficiency

RECOPE aims to develop novel science-based management strategies by manipulating the rhizosphere environment using biochar combined with suitable plant beneficial microbes to enhance phosphorus (P) bioavailability and crop P use efficiency in wheat. In addition, biochar contributes to direct carbon sequestration while improving soil health and environmental sustainability.


Compatibility between biochar and soil in influencing soil P bioavailability to wheat will be evaluated. Three soil types with contrasting textures will be combined with three different biochars of varied pH. The effects of the biochar and soil mixtures on soil P bioavailability and P uptake of wheat grown in pots will be assessed at the tillering stage in greenhouse. Bulk soil and rhizosphere soil will be collected to assess plant available P, soil microbial structure and enzyme activity. Root exudates will be collected for the analyses of sugars and organic acids. Root morphology will be determined by root imaging. Trichoderma sp. and Bacillus sp. are selected to study the synergistic effect of biochar and plant beneficial microbes on P dynamics in rhizosphere. Wheat seedlings will be inoculated with different microbial strains and hereafter will be planted into their respective soil with and without biochar. The abundance of microbes involved in inorganic P solubilization will be determined. P forms will be extracted and identified to examine the effect of microbes on P transformation. Lifestyles of microbes interacting with plants and biochar will be determined through microscopic, molecular and HPLC methods to identify treatments that positively impact on plant growth and P uptake.


Applying certain biochar on specific soil type in combination with suitable plant beneficial microbial will modulate the rhizosphere bio-physiochemical environments and root activity for better P acquisition, which will limit the global dependence on non-renewable P rock and reduce the risk of P loss by leaching and erosion. The knowledge gained from this project will support a stable, effective and green transition towards sustainable agriculture.




Funded by:

RECOPE is funded by the Planteafgiftsfonden with a budget of 0.78 DKK for the first year (2024).


Fulai Liu
+45 35 33 33 92