Improvement of Medicago sativa Crops Productivity by the Co-inoculation of Sinorhizobium meliloti-Actinobacteria Under Salt Stress



Saidi S, Cherif-Silini H, Chenari Bouket A, Silini A, Eshelli M, Luptakova L, Alenezi FN, Belbahri L.


Curr Microbiol. 2021 Apr;78(4):1344-1357. doi: 10.1007/s00284-021-02394-z. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


Biotic and abiotic stresses are severely limiting plant production and productivity. Of notable importance is salt stress that not only limits plant growth and survival, but affects the soil fertility and threatens agricultural ecosystems sustainability. The problem is exacerbated in fragile arid and semi-arid areas where high evaporation, low precipitation and the use of salty water for irrigation is accelerating soil salinization. Legumes, considered very nutritious foods for people and providing essential nutrients for ecosystems are a fundamental element of sustainable agriculture. They can restore soil health by their ability to fix nitrogen in a symbiotic interaction with the rhizobia of the soil. However, salt stress is severely limiting productivity and nitrogen fixation ability in legumes. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and mainly actinobacteria promote plant growth by producing phytohormones, siderophores, antibiotics and antifungal compounds, solubilizing phosphate and providing antagonism to phytopathogenic microorganisms. In addition, actinobacteria have beneficial effects on nodulation and growth of legumes. In this study, actinobacteria isolated from different niches and having PGP activities were used in co-inoculation experiments with rhizobia in Medicago sativa plants rhizosphere submitted to salt stress. The results indicate that drought- and salinity-tolerant Actinobacteria with multiple PGP traits can potentially increase alfalfa growth under saline conditions, in the presence or absence of symbiotic rhizobial bacteria. Actinobacteria discovered in this study can, therefore, be suitable biofertilizers in the formulation of agricultural products improving plant development, health and productivity in saline soils, a necessary alternative for modern agriculture and sustainable development.

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Link/DOI: 10.1007/s00284-021-02394-z