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American Society for Microbiology

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Microbiology Spectrum

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Asian rice is one of the most important crops because it is a staple food for almost half of the world’s population. To have production of rice keep pace with a growing world population, it is anticipated that the use of fertilizers will also need to increase, which may cause environmental damage through runoff impacts. An alternative strategy to increase crop yield is the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria. Thousands of microbial species can exist in association with plant roots and shoots, and some are critical to the plant’s survival. We isolated 140 bacteria from two distantly related rice accessions and investigated whether their impact on the growth of four different rice accessions. The bacterial isolates were screened for their ability to solubilize phosphate, a known plant growth-promoting characteristic, and 25 isolates were selected for further analysis. These 25 phosphate-solubilizing isolates were also able to produce other potentially growth-promoting factors. Five of the most promising bacterial isolates were chosen for whole-genome sequencing. Four of these bacteria, isolates related to Pseudomonas mosselii, a Microvirga sp., Paenibacillus rigui, and Paenibacillus graminis, improved root and shoot growth in a rice genotype-dependent manner. This indicates that while bacteria have several known plant growth-promoting functions, their effects on growth parameters are rice genotype dependent and suggest a close relationship between plants and their microbial partners.


Published version. Microbiology Spectrum, Vol. 10, No. 4 (July 2022). DOI. © 2022 American Society for Microbiology. Used with permission.

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