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The role of Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria in improving nitrogen use efficiency for sustainable crop production: a focus on wheat

1 Laboratory of Nutritional and Healthy Quality of Herbaceous Crop, Department of the Science of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE) University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
2 Laboratory of Predictive Microbiology, Department of the Science of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE), University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

Special Issues: Plant probiotic bacteria: solutions to feed the World

Due to the increase in both human population growth and environmental pressure, it is necessary to raise agricultural productivity without enhancing environmental footprint. Within this context, soil inoculation with PGPB (Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria) may be considered a promising tool of integrated management systems. In particular, PGPB may improve plant growth either directly, by facilitating resource use or modulating plant hormone levels, or indirectly by decreasing the inhibitory effects of various pathogenic agents. PGPB comprise different functional and taxonomic groups of bacteria like Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Rhizobium and others. Their ability to either mobilize mineral or organic bound nutrients from the pedosphere or to fix atmospheric N2 and make it available to the plants, is a crucial feature in their application. In literature some data are available on the use of commercial PGPB, while less efforts have been made on the study of the effect of autochthonous PGPB isolated from soils on sustainability of cropping systems; thus a literature survey on these aspects was carried out with special focus on wheat, a staple food for a large part of world population. In particular, the main topic of this review is the potential of PGPB to enhance use efficiency of agro-environmental resources focusing on the interaction PGPB-wheat for improving nitrogen use efficiency.
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