Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2023) | Viewed by 18185

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: environmental biotechnology; phytoremediation; phytomanagement; microbial-assisted phytotechnological approaches; plant–microbe interactions; soil fertility; development of bioinoculant formulations; effects of climate change and related abiotic stresses on plant growth and development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Effects of bioinoculants (mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobacteria, and endophytic bacteria) on plant growth and resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses; development of new formulations and delivery systems of bioinoculants; plant–microbe interactions; microbial-assisted phytomanagement; soil reclamation and restoration; phytotechnology; effects of climate change and related abiotic stresses on plant growth and development;
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the Special Issue of Plants (MDPI) entitled “Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation”. We welcome the submission of interdisciplinary work in the format of original research papers, case studies, and review articles.

Microorganisms play a crucial role in plants’ growth and survival by forming symbiotic relationships that can trigger a wide range of responses to edaphic–environmental constraints. As a consequence, the exploitation of microbial potentials for plant-based biotechnological applications has been critical, especially for the development of improved phytoremediation methodologies and their outputs in contaminated areas. Microbial communities inhabiting the plants’ surface (rhizosphere or rhizoplane; epiphytic) or inner tissues (endosphere; endophytic) assist their hosts’ development by improving their resilience to inorganic and organic pollutants and by changing their bioavailability in soil. These communities are highly complex and include different bacterial and fungal guilds, which establish a network of dynamic and cohesive interactions among them and with the plant hosts. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) and mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi are among the most investigated microorganisms during recent decades. Despite the extensive data produced on the role of specific microorganisms on plant growth and in phytoremediation strategies, there are still several gaps to bridge. For instance, integrative approaches in the combined use of different relevant microbial groups (e.g., bacteria and fungi) to harness phytoremediation are still underexplored, as are their interactions with the host plants and their microbiomes. Insights regarding interactions between different functional groups could provide new perspectives and frameworks to support and enhance the success of phytoremediation. Additionally, field studies demonstrating the transferability of greenhouse results are clearly insufficient and, therefore, are required to support the use of microorganisms by stakeholders.

Submissions should cover the latest research related to the microbial effects in plants under phytoremediation approaches of organic and/or inorganic contaminated soil and sediments. The effect of distinct, functional microbial groups, namely bacteria and fungi, in the biometric, nutritional, physiologic, and genetic parameters of plants as well as in contaminant(s) bioavailability are most welcome. Microbiome and plant transcriptomic analysis are also under the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Sofia Isabel Almeida Pereira
Dr. Helena Moreira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • inorganic/organic pollutants
  • phytoremediation
  • phytomanagement
  • plant-associated microorganisms
  • plant–microbe interactions
  • plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB)
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi
  • bioinocula
  • bioaugmentation
  • plant health
  • plant resilience
  • microbiome
  • microbial diversity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1250 KiB  
Article
Recent Advances in the Bacterial Phytohormone Modulation of Plant Growth
by Ma. del Carmen Orozco-Mosqueda, Gustavo Santoyo and Bernard R. Glick
Plants 2023, 12(3), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030606 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4501
Abstract
Phytohormones are regulators of plant growth and development, which under different types of stress can play a fundamental role in a plant’s adaptation and survival. Some of these phytohormones such as cytokinin, gibberellin, salicylic acid, auxin, and ethylene are also produced by plant [...] Read more.
Phytohormones are regulators of plant growth and development, which under different types of stress can play a fundamental role in a plant’s adaptation and survival. Some of these phytohormones such as cytokinin, gibberellin, salicylic acid, auxin, and ethylene are also produced by plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). In addition, numerous volatile organic compounds are released by PGPB and, like bacterial phytohormones, modulate plant physiology and genetics. In the present work we review the basic functions of these bacterial phytohormones during their interaction with different plant species. Moreover, we discuss the most recent advances of the beneficial effects on plant growth of the phytohormones produced by PGPB. Finally, we review some aspects of the cross-link between phytohormone production and other plant growth promotion (PGP) mechanisms. This work highlights the most recent advances in the essential functions performed by bacterial phytohormones and their potential application in agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation)
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19 pages, 6775 KiB  
Article
Profiling of Plant Growth-Promoting Metabolites by Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria in Maize Rhizosphere
by Minchong Shen, Jiangang Li, Yuanhua Dong, Hong Liu, Junwei Peng, Yang Hu and Yang Sun
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061071 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4300
Abstract
Microbial treatment has recently been attracting attention as a sustainable agricultural strategy addressing the current problems caused by unreasonable agricultural practices. However, the mechanism through which microbial inoculants promote plant growth is not well understood. In this study, two phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB) were [...] Read more.
Microbial treatment has recently been attracting attention as a sustainable agricultural strategy addressing the current problems caused by unreasonable agricultural practices. However, the mechanism through which microbial inoculants promote plant growth is not well understood. In this study, two phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB) were screened, and their growth-promoting abilities were explored. At day 7 (D7), the lengths of the root and sprout with three microbial treatments, M16, M44, and the combination of M16 and M44 (Com), were significantly greater than those with the non-microbial control, with mean values of 9.08 and 4.73, 7.15 and 4.83, and 13.98 and 5.68 cm, respectively. At day 14 (D14), M16, M44, and Com significantly increased not only the length of the root and sprout but also the underground and aboveground biomass. Differential metabolites were identified, and various amino acids, amino acid derivatives, and other plant growth-regulating molecules were significantly enhanced by the three microbial treatments. The profiling of key metabolites associated with plant growth in different microbial treatments showed consistent results with their performances in the germination experiment, which revealed the metabolic mechanism of plant growth-promoting processes mediated by screened PSB. This study provides a theoretical basis for the application of PSB in sustainable agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation)
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12 pages, 3229 KiB  
Article
Effects of Association of Barley Plants with Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria on the Content of Soluble Organic Compounds in Clean and Oil-Contaminated Sand
by Sergey Chetverikov, Lidiya Vysotskaya, Elena Kuzina, Tatiana Arkhipova, Margarita Bakaeva, Gulnaz Rafikova, Tatiana Korshunova, Darya Chetverikova, Gaisar Hkudaygulov and Guzel Kudoyarova
Plants 2021, 10(5), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050975 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Plant-bacteria consortia are more effective in bioremediation of petroleum contaminated soil than when either organism is used individually. The reason for this is that plant root exudates promote growth and activity of oil degrading bacteria. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the [...] Read more.
Plant-bacteria consortia are more effective in bioremediation of petroleum contaminated soil than when either organism is used individually. The reason for this is that plant root exudates promote growth and activity of oil degrading bacteria. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the ability of bacteria to influence root exudation. Therefore, the influence of barley plants and/or bacterial inoculation (Pseudomonas hunanensis IB C7 and Enterobacter sp. UOM 3) on the content of organic acids, sugars and plant hormones in the eluate from clean and oil-polluted sand was studied separately or in combination. These strains are capable of oxidizing hydrocarbons and synthesizing auxins. Concentrations of organic acids and sugars were determined using capillary electrophoresis, and hormones by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. In the absence of plants, no sugars were detected in the sand, confirming that root exudates are their main source. Introducing bacteria into the sand increased total contents of organic compounds both in the presence and absence of oil. This increase could be related to the increase in auxin amounts in the sand eluate, as well as in plants. The results indicate that bacteria are able to increase the level of root exudation. Since auxins can promote root exudation, bacterial production of this hormone is likely responsible for increased concentrations of soluble organic compounds in the sand. Bacterial mediation of root exudation by affecting plant hormonal status should be considered when choosing microorganisms for phytoremediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation)
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15 pages, 2251 KiB  
Article
Role of Two Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria in Remediating Cadmium-Contaminated Soil Combined with Miscanthus floridulus (Lab.)
by Shuming Liu, Hongmei Liu, Rui Chen, Yong Ma, Bo Yang, Zhiyong Chen, Yunshan Liang, Jun Fang and Yunhua Xiao
Plants 2021, 10(5), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050912 - 2 May 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Miscanthus spp. are energy plants and excellent candidates for phytoremediation approaches of metal(loid)s-contaminated soils, especially when combined with plant growth-promoting bacteria. Forty-one bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soils and roots tissue of five dominant plants (Artemisia argyi Levl., Gladiolus gandavensis [...] Read more.
Miscanthus spp. are energy plants and excellent candidates for phytoremediation approaches of metal(loid)s-contaminated soils, especially when combined with plant growth-promoting bacteria. Forty-one bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soils and roots tissue of five dominant plants (Artemisia argyi Levl., Gladiolus gandavensis Vaniot Houtt, Boehmeria nivea L., Veronica didyma Tenore, and Miscanthus floridulus Lab.) colonizing a cadmium (Cd)-contaminated mining area (Huayuan, Hunan, China). We subsequently tested their plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits (e.g., production of indole-3-acetic acid, siderophore, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase) and Cd tolerance. Among bacteria, two strains, Klebsiella michiganensis TS8 and Lelliottia jeotgali MR2, presented higher Cd tolerance and showed the best results regarding in vitro growth-promoting traits. In the subsequent pot experiments using soil spiked with 10 mg Cd·kg−1, we investigated the effects of TS8 and MR2 strains on soil Cd phytoremediation when combined with M. floridulus (Lab.). After sixty days of planting M. floridulus (Lab.), we found that TS8 increased plant height by 39.9%, dry weight of leaves by 99.1%, and the total Cd in the rhizosphere soil was reduced by 49.2%. Although MR2 had no significant effects on the efficiency of phytoremediation, it significantly enhanced the Cd translocation from the root to the aboveground tissues (translocation factor > 1). The combination of K. michiganensis TS8 and M. floridulus (Lab.) may be an effective method to remediate Cd-contaminated soils, while the inoculation of L. jeotgali MR2 may be used to enhance the phytoextraction potential of M. floridulus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation)
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23 pages, 3099 KiB  
Article
Exogenous ACC Deaminase Is Key to Improving the Performance of Pasture Legume-Rhizobial Symbioses in the Presence of a High Manganese Concentration
by Ana Paço, José Rodrigo da-Silva, Denise Pereira Torres, Bernard R. Glick and Clarisse Brígido
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1630; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121630 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2951
Abstract
Manganese (Mn) toxicity is a very common soil stress around the world, which is responsible for low soil fertility. This manuscript evaluates the effect of the endophytic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. Q1 on different rhizobial-legume symbioses in the absence and presence of Mn toxicity. [...] Read more.
Manganese (Mn) toxicity is a very common soil stress around the world, which is responsible for low soil fertility. This manuscript evaluates the effect of the endophytic bacterium Pseudomonas sp. Q1 on different rhizobial-legume symbioses in the absence and presence of Mn toxicity. Three legume species, Cicer arietinum (chickpea), Trifolium subterraneum (subterranean clover), and Medicago polymorpha (burr medic) were used. To evaluate the role of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase produced by strain Q1 in these interactions, an ACC deaminase knockout mutant of this strain was constructed and used in those trials. The Q1 strain only promoted the symbiotic performance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii ATCC 14480T and Ensifer meliloti ATCC 9930T, leading to an increase of the growth of their hosts in both conditions. Notably, the acdS gene disruption of strain Q1 abolished the beneficial effect of this bacterium as well as causing this mutant strain to act deleteriously in those specific symbioses. This study suggests that the addition of non-rhizobia with functional ACC deaminase may be a strategy to improve the pasture legume–rhizobial symbioses, particularly when the use of rhizobial strains alone does not yield the expected results due to their difficulty in competing with native strains or in adapting to inhibitory soil conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation)
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