World population growth, together with climate changes and increased hidden hunger, bring an urgent need for finding sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural approaches to improve crop yield and nutritional value. The existing methodologies for enhancing the concentration of bioavailable micronutrients in edible crop tissues (i.e., biofortification), including some agronomic strategies, conventional plant breeding, and genetic engineering, have not always been successful. In recent years, the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) has been suggested as a promising approach for the biofortification of important crops, including legumes. Legumes have many beneficial health effects, namely, improved immunological, metabolic and hormonal regulation, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects, and decreased risk of cardiovascular and obesity-related diseases. These crops also play a key role in the environment through symbiotic nitrogen (N) fixation, reducing the need for N fertilizers, reducing CO2
emissions, improving soil composition, and increasing plant resistance to pests and diseases. PGPB act by a series of direct and indirect mechanisms to potentially improve crop yields and nutrition. This review will focus on the: (i) importance of legumes in the accomplishment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for production systems; (ii) understanding the role of PGPB in plant nutrition; (iii) iron biofortification of legumes with PGPB, which is an interesting case study of a green technology for sustainable plant-food production improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
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