Special Issue "Microbial Biostimulants: From the Lab to the Field for a New Agriculture 2.0"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Microbe Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 3198

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Francois Lefort
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plants and Pathogens Group, Research Institute Land Nature and Environment, hepia, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Jussy, 1200 Geneva, Switzerland
Interests: pathogens; plant genetic resources; plant pathogenic microorganisms; bioprospection; biostimulants; genomics; metagenomics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is the continuation of our previous special issue "Microbial Biostimulants: From the Lab to the Field for a New Agriculture".

Plant biostimulants have been named under different terminologies for the past 30 years as a function of their variable modes of action. The most consensual and recent definition states that biostimulants are biological substances, micro-organisms, and mineral compounds which can be directly applied to plants, seeds, and soil in order to improve plant growth, increase crop yield, and reduce plant stress. Mostly used in agriculture as preventive agents, they act as plant growth stimulators and enhancers of resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. This Special Issue aims to bring together a sample of very recent developments in microbial biostimulants for agriculture, on their way to the biofertilizer market or recently available to diverse agricultural production sectors, whether it be in horticulture, environmental and fruit arboriculture, viticulture, silviculture, or vegetable or crop production. The development of these innovating products has been based on chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, and microbiology applied to agriculture, taking into account the physiological, agricultural, and ecological constraints of plants. Finally, these plant microbial biostimulants must be effective at very low doses, while being ecologically friendly. They especially must produce a positive and reproducible effect on crops. Whether bacteria or fungi, these microorganisms that can be used as plant biostimulants and plant health promoters are part of a wide unknown microbial diversity, constituting the rhizospheric, epiphytic, or endophytic microbiota which are on the way to being domesticated. Their activities are also sustained by genetic interactions between plant and microbe species, which have yet to be elucidated, alongside their impacts on human and animal health.

Prof. Dr. Francois Lefort
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Endophytic PGPR from Tomato Roots: Isolation, In Vitro Characterization and In Vivo Evaluation of Treated Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
Microorganisms 2022, 10(4), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040765 - 01 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are soil bacteria colonizing the rhizosphere and the rhizoplane which have an effect on plant growth through multiple chemical compounds. Rhizobacteria with beneficial effects for plants could therefore be used to reduce the dependence on synthetic chemical fertilizers in conventional [...] Read more.
Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are soil bacteria colonizing the rhizosphere and the rhizoplane which have an effect on plant growth through multiple chemical compounds. Rhizobacteria with beneficial effects for plants could therefore be used to reduce the dependence on synthetic chemical fertilizers in conventional agriculture. Within this study, 67 endophytic fungi and 49 bacteria were isolated from root samples from 3 different commercial productions: an off-ground tomato production in a greenhouse, an organic production and a conventional production, both in a soil tunnel. Following morphological selection, 12 fungal and 33 bacterial isolates were genetically identified. Thirteen bacterial isolates belonging to nine potential PGPR species were then applied to tomato seedlings established in sterile substrate. The ability of these bacteria to produce indole acetic acid (IAA) and solubilize phosphate was also evaluated. They all were IAA producers and solubilized phosphate. The most interesting strains for growth promotion were found to be the isolates Pseudomonas palleroniana B10, Bacillus subtilis B25, Bacillus aryabhattai B29 and Pseudomonas fluorescens B17. The isolates P. fluorescens B17, B. aryabhattai B29, B. subtilis B18 and Pseudomonas moraviensis B6 also increased root growth. This study proposed a quick protocol for isolating and testing potential endophytic PGPR that should be characterized further for the direct and indirect mechanisms of growth promotion. Full article
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Article
Effect of Rhizobacteria Inoculation via Soil and Seeds on Glycine max L. Plants Grown on Soils with Different Cropping History
Microorganisms 2022, 10(4), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040691 - 23 Mar 2022
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Field experiments testing the effect of phosphate-solubilizing rhizobacteria (PSRB) should consider the cropping history and the method used to inoculate the strains. We evaluated the hypothesis that PSRB previously isolated from soybean seedlings could be effective in promoting growth in this oilseed crop [...] Read more.
Field experiments testing the effect of phosphate-solubilizing rhizobacteria (PSRB) should consider the cropping history and the method used to inoculate the strains. We evaluated the hypothesis that PSRB previously isolated from soybean seedlings could be effective in promoting growth in this oilseed crop in soils with different cultivation periods. We also evaluated whether this growth promotion could be influenced by cultivation histories or the inoculation method (via seeds or soil). Thus, we conducted an experiment in five fields cultivating Glycine max during two seasons (2019/2020 and 2020/2021), to test the effectiveness of PSRB (SAF9-Brevibacillus sp., SAF11-Brevibacillus sp., and SAC36-Bacillus velezensis) compared with results observed for the inoculant BiomaPhos (mix of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium). The present study was based on the evaluation of vegetative growth, nutritional and yield parameters, and microbial biomass carbon (MBC). PSRB were more effective than, or showed similar effectiveness to, BiomaPhos for most of the evaluated vegetative, nutritional, and yield characteristics. In the fields tested in the summer 2019/2020 crop, SAC36 and SAF9 strains stood out as growth promoters, whereas in the 2020/2021 crop, SAF11, SAC36, and BiomaPhos were notable. There did not seem to be a direct relationship between long histories of soybean cultivation as a monoculture and low yield in the field. However, yield seems to be associated with soil nutritional characters such as Ca, Mg, K, P, cation exchange capacity, and organic matter levels. PSRB inoculation positively affected nodulation (NN) and nodule dry mass (NDM) in the evaluated fields in the 2019/2020 crop, and the aerial part dry mass (APDM), NN, NDM, yield, and MBC of the evaluated fields in the 2020/2021 crop. In contrast, the inoculation method was observed to have a strong effect on APDM, NN, root dry mass, and MBC, as the plants inoculated via seed showed higher mean values than those in the plants inoculated via soil. This study demonstrated the growth-promoting potential of new phosphate-solubilizing strains, which may eventually be incorporated by the biostimulants market to freely compete with BiomaPhos. Full article
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Review

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Review
Bioinoculants—Natural Biological Resources for Sustainable Plant Production
Microorganisms 2022, 10(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10010051 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Agricultural sustainability is of foremost importance for maintaining high food production. Irresponsible resource use not only negatively affects agroecology, but also reduces the economic profitability of the production system. Among different resources, soil is one of the most vital resources of agriculture. Soil [...] Read more.
Agricultural sustainability is of foremost importance for maintaining high food production. Irresponsible resource use not only negatively affects agroecology, but also reduces the economic profitability of the production system. Among different resources, soil is one of the most vital resources of agriculture. Soil fertility is the key to achieve high crop productivity. Maintaining soil fertility and soil health requires conscious management effort to avoid excessive nutrient loss, sustain organic carbon content, and minimize soil contamination. Though the use of chemical fertilizers have successfully improved crop production, its integration with organic manures and other bioinoculants helps in improving nutrient use efficiency, improves soil health and to some extent ameliorates some of the constraints associated with excessive fertilizer application. In addition to nutrient supplementation, bioinoculants have other beneficial effects such as plant growth-promoting activity, nutrient mobilization and solubilization, soil decontamination and/or detoxification, etc. During the present time, high energy based chemical inputs also caused havoc to agriculture because of the ill effects of global warming and climate change. Under the consequences of climate change, the use of bioinputs may be considered as a suitable mitigation option. Bioinoculants, as a concept, is not something new to agricultural science, however; it is one of the areas where consistent innovations have been made. Understanding the role of bioinoculants, the scope of their use, and analysing their performance in various environments are key to the successful adaptation of this technology in agriculture. Full article
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