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Advances in Organic Farming
2021, Pages 75-92

Remediation of salt affected soils through microbes to promote organic farming

Anandkumar Naorema, Shiva Kumar Udayanab

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Bhuj, Gujarat, India.


The 21st century is marked with several challenges: human population explosion, climate change, land degradation, agricultural expansion, environmental pollution etc. With the increasing climate change, the areas under salt affected soils are expanding worldwide that adds more to the present concern of food productivity. In order to continue crop production without jeopardizing the environment, organic farming has been advocated in several parts of the world. However, a huge research and knowledge gap lies in the potential applications of organic farming in salt affected soils. Several questions, such as will the organic farming perform best in salt stressed conditions and how these abiotic stress affects the biofertilizers, need to be addressed. Therefore, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) with multifaceted properties are exploited to use in remediation of soil salinity and/or sodicity. The salt tolerant PGPRs are isolated from soils or halophytes and are used as biofertilizers, biostimulators or biocontrol agents in salt stressed conditions. The performance of these PGPRs will indicate the opportunities of organic farming in salt affected regions. This chapter succinctly discusses the mechanisms and application of soil beneficial microorganisms in alleviating salt stress and its limitations that could be overcome in future studies.

Keywords: Halophiles, PGPR, Salt stress, Bio-ameliorators, Phytohormones, Stress enzymes.

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