Valorization of vermicompost with bacterial fermented chicken feather hydrolysate for the yield improvement of tomato plant: A novel organic combination

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, Raiganj University, Raiganj - 733 134, Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal, India

2 Crop Production Division, ICAR - National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack - 753 006, Odisha, India

3 Professor A. K. Bothra Environment Conservation Centre, Raiganj University, Raiganj – 733 134, Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal, India


Purpose Chicken feather protein hydrolysate (CFPH) has drawn a significant attention as a component/type of biofertilizer in recent years, because of the beneficial impact on the growth of the plant. The current study aims to evaluate the potential influence of the combination of CFPH with vermicompost (VC) on growth-promotion and yield improvement in tomato plants.
Method Feather degrading bacteria were isolated and characterized using 16s-rDNA sequencing, and assessed for biochemical reactions, growth-promoting attributes and keratinase activity. The medium used for feather degradation studies consisted of 0.75% (w/v) of raw feather, with 1% (v/v) of inoculum at 37°C, pH 7.5 and at 120 rpm. A field study was done by randomized block design (RBD) with five treatments in tomato.
Results Keratinolytic and feather degrading bacteria isolated and used in this study were identified as Bacillus cereus PKID1 with accession number MT158702. The bacterium gave the highest keratinase activity of 80±0.28 U/ml. The CFPH showed the potential to promote remarkably the germination % of tomato (84.13), rice (87.24), onion (84.13), chilli (84.13), chickpea (73.24) seeds ; field experiment significantly increased plant growth and yield compared with control.
Conclusion The principal component analysis of the field experiment as a result of tomato plant-growth, the order of best treatment efficacy for improvement of parameter estimates was as follows: CFPH and VC > CFPH > VC > recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) > control. Thus, the application of CFPH with VC could improve the productivity of crops and decrease the use of chemical fertilizers.


  • The study is dealing with the management of chicken feather waste by bacterial fermentation and chicken feather hydrolysate (CFPH) has been efficiently used for plant growth promotion in combination with vermicompost (VC).
  • Chicken feather hydrolysate treatment with rice, tomato, onion, chilli and chickpea seeds showed a higher percentage of germination compared to control.
  • CFPH and VC enrich micro and macro nutrients in newly mixed compost promote multifunctional plant growth capacity for agricultural and horticultural crops.
  • It is a novel combination for plant growth promotion and is also simple for preparation and use by the farmers.