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.
A total of 137 actinomycetes cultures, isolated from 25 different herbal vermicomposts, were characterized for their antagonistic potential against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri (FOC) by dual-culture assay. Of the isolates, five most promising FOC antagonistic isolates were characterized for the production of siderophore, cellulase, protease, hydrocyanic acid (HCN), indole acetic acid (IAA) and antagonistic potential against Rhizoctonia bataticola, which causes dry root rot in chickpea (three strains viz. RB-6, RB-24 and RB-115) and sorghum (one strain). All of the five FOC antagonistic isolates produced siderophore and HCN, four of them (except KAI-90) produced IAA, KAI-32 and KAI-90 produced cellulase and CAI-24 and CAI-127 produced protease. In the dual-culture assay, three of the isolates, CAI-24, KAI-32 and KAI-90, also inhibited all three strains of R. bataticola in chickpea, while two of them (KAI-32 and KAI-90) inhibited the lonely strain in sorghum. When the FOC antagonistic isolates were evaluated further for their antagonistic potential in the greenhouse and wilt-sick field conditions on chickpea, 45-76% and 4-19% reduction of disease incidence were observed, respectively compared to the control. The sequences of 16S rDNA gene of the isolates CAI-24, CAI-121, CAI-127, KAI-32 and KAI-90 were matched with Streptomyces tsusimaensis, S. caviscabies, S. setonii, S.africanus and an identified species of Streptomyces, respectively using the BLAST searching. This study indicated that the selected actinomycete isolates have the potential for biological control of Fusarium wilt disease in chickpea.
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.
Basmati rice is highly susceptible to bacterial blight (BB) caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Transfer of BB resistance genes from non-Basmati sources to Basmati through cross-hybridization requires strict monitoring for recovery of the desirable Basmati quality traits in the recombinants, which show complex inheritance pattern. We integrated background analysis using mapped microsatellite markers with foreground selection to identify superior lines that combine useful genes from a non-Basmati BB resistance donor line IRBB55 with grain and cooking quality characteristics of the popular Basmati rice variety ÔPusa Basmati 1Õ (PB 1) employing backcross pedigree strategy. Foreground selection using linked markers ensured presence of two genes, xa13 and Xa21 for BB resistance from IRBB55, and the recurrent parent PB 1 allele for the waxy locus giving intermediate amylose content and maintainer allele at fertility restorer locus in the BC 1 F 5 recombinants. Background analysis enabled selection of recombinants with recurrent parent genome to the extent of 86.3% along with the quality traits. The extent of introgression of nonBasmati donor chromosome segments in the superior selections was estimated to be <7.8 Mb and <6.7 Mb in the xa13 and Xa21 linked genomic regions, respectively. Association mapping identified three quantitative trait loci, one each for 1000-grain weight, fertile grains/ panicle and cooked kernel length. The backcross-pedigree breeding strategy facilitated recovery of additional desirable characteristics from the donor in some of the selections. The elite selection Pusa 1460-01-32-6-7-67 with maximum genomic background and quality characteristics of the recurrent Basmati parent gave resistance reaction against BB, similar to that of the non-Basmati resistant check variety and recorded an yield advantage of 11.9% over the best check in the multiplication agronomic trial in the Basmati growing region of India. This line, which has been released as a new variety in the name of ÔImproved Pusa Basmati 1Õ for commercial cultivation in India, is an example of successful application of marker assisted selection to variety development.
Using a recombinant luminescent Nitrosomonas europaea assay to quantify biological nitrification inhibition (BNI), we found that a wild relative of wheat (Leymus racemosus (Lam.) Tzvelev) had a high BNI capacity and releases about 20 times more BNI compounds (about 30 ATU g −1 root dry weight 24 h −1 ) than Triticum aestivum L. (cultivated wheat). The root exudate from cultivated wheat has no inhibitory effect on nitrification when applied to soil; however, the root exudate from L. racemous suppressed NO À 3 formation and kept more than 90% of the soil's inorganic-N in the NH þ 4 -form for 60 days. The high-BNI capacity of L. racemosus is mostly associated with chromosome Lr#n. Two other chromosomes Lr#J, and Lr#I also have an influence on BNI production. Tolerance of L. racemosus to NH þ 4 is controlled by chromosome 7Lr#1-1. Sustained release of BNI compounds occurred only in the presence of Plant Soil (2007) 299:55-64
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.
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