Modern agriculture faces challenges, such as loss of soil fertility, fluctuating climatic factors and increasing pathogen and pest attacks. Sustainability and environmental safety of agricultural production relies on eco-friendly approaches like biofertilizers, biopesticides and crop residue return. The multiplicity of beneficial effects of microbial inoculants, particularly plant growth promoters (PGP), emphasizes the need for further strengthening the research and their use in modern agriculture. PGP inhabit the rhizosphere for nutrients from plant root exudates. By reaction, they help in (1) increased plant growth through soil nutrient enrichment by nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, siderophore production and phytohormones production (2) increased plant protection by influencing cellulase, protease, lipase and β-1,3 glucanase productions and enhance plant defense by triggering induced systemic resistance through lipopolysaccharides, flagella, homoserine lactones, acetoin and butanediol against pests and pathogens. In addition, the PGP microbes contain useful variation for tolerating abiotic stresses like extremes of temperature, pH, salinity and drought; heavy metal and pesticide pollution. Seeking such tolerant PGP microbes is expected to offer enhanced plant growth and yield even under a combination of stresses. This review summarizes the PGP related research and its benefits, and highlights the benefits of PGP rhizobia belonging to the family Rhizobiaceae, Phyllobacteriaceae and Bradyrhizobiaceae.
Six actinomycetes, CAI-13, CAI-85, CAI-93, CAI-140, CAI-155 and KAI-180, isolated from six different herbal vermi-composts were characterized for in vitro plant growth-promoting (PGP) properties and further evaluated in the field for PGP activity in rice. Of the six actinomycetes, CAI-13, CAI-85, CAI-93, CAI-140 and CAI-155 produced siderophores; CAI-13, CAI-93, CAI-155 and KAI-180 produced chitinase; CAI-13, CAI-140, CAI-155 and KAI-180 produced lipase; CAI-13, CAI-93, CAI-155 and KAI-180 produced protease; and CAI-13, CAI-85, CAI-140 and CAI-155 produced ß-1-3-glucanase whereas all the six actinomycetes produced cellulase, hydrocyanic acid and indole acetic acid (IAA). The actinomycetes were able to grow in NaCl concentrations of up to 8%, at pH values between 7 and 11, temperatures between 20 and 40 °C and compatible with fungicide bavistin at field application levels. In the rice field, the actinomycetes significantly enhanced tiller numbers, panicle numbers, filled grain numbers and weight, stover yield, grain yield, total dry matter, root length, volume and dry weight over the un-inoculated control. In the rhizosphere, the actinomycetes also significantly enhanced total nitrogen, available phosphorous, % organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen and dehydrogenase activity over the un-inoculated control. Sequences of 16S rDNA gene of the actinomycetes matched with different Streptomyces species in BLAST analysis. Of the six actinomycetes, CAI-85 and CAI-93 were found superior over other actinomycetes in terms of PGP properties, root development and crop productivity. qRT-PCR analysis on selected plant growth promoting genes of actinomycetes revealed the up-regulation of IAA genes only in CAI-85 and CAI-93.
Grain legumes are a cost-effective alternative for the animal protein in improving the diets of the poor in South-East Asia and Africa. Legumes, through symbiotic nitrogen fixation, meet a major part of their own N demand and partially benefit the following crops of the system by enriching soil. In realization of this sustainability advantage and to promote pulse production, United Nations had declared 2016 as the ''International Year of pulses''. Grain legumes are frequently subjected to both abiotic and biotic stresses resulting in severe yield losses. Global yields of legumes have been stagnant for the past five decades in spite of adopting various conventional and molecular breeding approaches. Furthermore, the increasing costs and negative effects of pesticides and fertilizers for crop production necessitate the use of biological options of crop production and protection. The use of plant growth-promoting (PGP) bacteria for improving soil and plant health has become one of the attractive strategies for developing sustainable agricultural systems due to their eco-friendliness, low production cost and minimizing consumption of non-renewable resources. This review emphasizes on how the PGP actinobacteria and their metabolites can be used effectively in enhancing the yield and controlling the pests and pathogens of grain legumes.
A bacterium, isolated from nodules of chickpea grown in alluvial soils of Haryana state of India, designated as IC-76 was characterized for in vitro plant growth-promoting (PGP) properties and further evaluated under greenhouse, on-station and on-farm field conditions for PGP activity in chickpea. The isolate IC-76 produced indole acetic acid, siderophore, hydrocyanic acid, cellulase, protease, and β-1,3-glucanase. When the bacterium was evaluated individually for their PGP potential in the greenhouse on chickpea and in combination with five Streptomyces sp. (strains CAI-24, CAI-121, CAI-127, KAI-32, and KAI-90; demonstrated earlier as biocontrol potential against Fusarium wilt disease in chickpea), the traits, including nodule number and weight, shoot, and root weight, pod number and weight, seed number and weight, available phosphorus and % organic carbon were found significantly, enhanced over un-inoculated control. In the on-station and on-farm field conditions, IC-76 significantly enhanced nodule number and weight, shoot, and root weight, stover and grain yield and total dry matter. In the rhizosphere (0–15 cm soil), the bacterium also significantly enhanced the total nitrogen, available phosphorus and % organic carbon. The sequence of 16S rDNA gene of the IC-76 was matched with Pseudomonas geniculata in BLAST analysis. This study demonstrates that IC-76 has the potential for PGP in chickpea.
Five strains of Streptomyces were earlier reported to have potential for charcoal rot control and plant growth promotion (PGP) in sorghum. In this study, those five Streptomyces strains were characterized for their enzymatic activities and evaluated for their PGP capabilities on rice. All the Streptomyces were able to produce lipase, β-1,3-glucanase, grew in NaCl (up to 8%), at pH 5−13, temperatures 20−40 o C and were resistant to ampicillin, sensitive to nalidixic acid and highly sensitive to chloramphenicol, kanamycin, streptomycin and tetracycline. They were highly tolerant to fungicide bavistin, whereas highly sensitive to benlate, benomyl and radonil. When evaluated on rice in the field, the Streptomyces significantly enhanced tillers, panicles, stover yield, grain yield, dry matter, root length, volume and dry weight over the control. In the rhizosphere at harvest, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, total N, available P and % organic carbon were also found significantly higher in Streptomyces treated plots over the control. This study further confirms that the selected Streptomyces have PGP activities.
Seven isolates of bacteria (SRI-156, SRI-158, SRI-178, SRI-211, SRI-229, SRI-305 and SRI-360) were earlier reported by us as having potential for biocontrol of charcoal rot of sorghum and plant growth promotion (PGP) of the plant. In the present study, the seven isolates were characterized for their physiological traits (tolerance to salinity, pH, temperature and resistance to antibiotics and fungicides) and further evaluated in the field for their PGP of rice. All the seven isolates were able to grow at pH values between 5 and 13, in NaCl concentrations of up to 8% (except SRI-156 and SRI-360), temperatures between 20 and 40°C and were resistant to ampicillin (>100 ppm; except SRI-158 and SRI-178) but sensitive (<10 ppm) to chloramphenicol, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin (except SRI-156 and SRI-211) and tetracycline. They were tolerant to fungicides benlate and captan, except SRI-158 and SRI-178, bavistin and sensitive to thiram (except SRI-156 and SRI-211) at field application level. In the field, four of the seven isolates (SRI-158, SRI-211, SRI-229 and SRI-360) significantly enhanced the tiller numbers, stover and grain yields, total dry matter, root length, volume and dry weight over the un-inoculated control. In the rhizosphere soil at harvest, all the isolates significantly enhanced microbial biomass carbon (except SRI-156), microbial biomass nitrogen and dehydrogenase activity (up to 33%, 36% and 39%, respectively) and total N, available P and% organic carbon (up to 10%, 38% and 10%, respectively) compared to the control. This investigation further confirms that the SRI isolates have PGP properties.
Tel.: +91 40 3071 3610; Fax: +91 40 3071 3074Three strains of Streptomyces were earlier reported by us as having potential for biocontrol of charcoal rot of sorghum, caused by Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid., and plant growth promotion (PGP) of the plant. In the present investigation, the three Streptomyces were characterized for their physiological traits (tolerance of salinity, temperature, pH and resistance to 2 antibiotics) and further evaluated in the field for their PGP of rice, grown by a system of rice intensification (SRI) methods. All three Streptomyces were able to grow in NaCl concentrations of up to 12% (except MMA-32), at pH values between 5 and 13 and temperatures between 20 and 40 o C.They were highly resistant to ampicillin and trimethoprim (>800 ppm), sensitive to chloramphenicol, kanamycin and nalidixic acid (50−100 ppm) and highly sensitive to streptomycin and tetracycline (5−25 ppm). When evaluated for their PGP activity on seedlings of rice, % germination and shoot and root lengths were significantly enhanced over the control. In the field, the Streptomyces strains significantly enhanced the panicle length, filled grain numbers and weight, panicle weight, 1000 seed weight, tiller numbers, total dry matter, root length (39−65%), root volume (13−30%), root dry weight (16−24%), grain yield (9−11%) and stover yield (11−22%) over the control. In the rhizosphere soil (0−15cm from root) at harvest, the population of actinomycetes was significantly enhanced as was microbial biomass carbon (27−83%) and nitrogen (24−43%), dehydrogenase activity (34−152%), available P (13−34%) and N (30−53%) and % organic carbon (26−28%). This study further confirms that the selected Streptomyces have plant growth promoting properties.
The present study was evaluated to test the potential of plant growth-promoting actinobacteria in increasing seed mineral density of chickpea under field conditions. Among the 19 isolates of actinobacteria tested, significant (p < 0.05) increase of minerals over the uninoculated control treatments was noticed on all the isolates for Fe (10–38 %), 17 for Zn (13–30 %), 16 for Ca (14–26 %), 9 for Cu (11–54 %) and 10 for Mn (18–35 %) and Mg (14–21 %). The increase might be due to the production of siderophore-producing capacity of the tested actinobacteria, which was confirmed in our previous studies by q-RT PCR on siderophore genes expressing up to 1.4- to 25-fold increased relative transcription levels. The chickpea seeds were subjected to processing to increase the mineral availability during consumption. The processed seeds were found to meet the recommended daily intake of FDA by 24–28 % for Fe, 25–28 % for Zn, 28–35 % for Cu, 12–14 % for Ca, 160–167 % for Mn and 34–37 % for Mg. It is suggested that the microbial inoculum can serve as a complementary sustainable tool for the existing biofortification strategies and substantially reduce the chemical fertilizer inputs.
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