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Vol. 27 (2), 2017, Pages: 177–192

Soil-Plant-Microbe Interactions in Stressed Agriculture Management: A Review

Shobhit Raj VIMAL, Jay Shankar SINGH, Naveen Kumar ARORA, Surendra SINGH

Department of Environmental Microbiology, Babashaeb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University, Lucknow 226025 (India).


The expected rise in temperature and decreased precipitation owing to climate change and unabated anthropogenic activities add complexity and uncertainty to agro-industry. The impact of soil nutrient imbalance, mismanaged use of chemicals, high temperature, flood or drought, soil salinity, and heavy metal pollutions, with regard to food security, is increasingly being explored worldwide. This review describes the role of soil-plant-microbe interactions along with organic manure in solving stressed agriculture problems. Beneficial microbes associated with plants are known to stimulate plant growth and enhance plant resistance to biotic (diseases) and abiotic (salinity, drought, pollutions, etc.) stresses. The plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and mycorrhizae, a key component of soil microbiota, could play vital roles in the maintenance of plant fitness and soil health under stressed environments. The application of organic manure as a soil conditioner to stressed soils along with suitable microbial strains could further enhance the plant-microbe associations and increase the crop yield. A combination of plant, stress-tolerant microbe, and organic amendment represents the tripartite association to offer a favourable environment to the proliferation of beneficial rhizosphere microbes that in turn enhance the plant growth performance in disturbed agro-ecosystem. Agriculture land use patterns with the proper exploitation of plant-microbe associations, with compatible beneficial microbial agents, could be one of the most effective strategies in the management of the concerned agriculture lands owing to climate change resilience. However, the association of such microbes with plants for stressed agriculture management still needs to be explored in greater depth.

Keywords: beneficial microbes; fungi; microbial agents; mycorrhiza; organic manure; pathogen; plant health; plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria.

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