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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358215

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Influence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on maize growth under drought stress

item LIN, YARU - Auburn University
item Watts, Dexter
item KLOEPPER, JOSEPH - Auburn University
item FENG, Y - Auburn University

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2018
Publication Date: 2/4/2018
Citation: Lin, Y., Watts, D.B., Kloepper, J.W., Feng, Y. 2018. Influence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on maize growth under drought stress [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Southern Branch Meeting. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Water availability is major constraint affecting the growth and yield of agricultural crops worldwide. Some studies have shown that some free living bacteria found in the plant rhizosphere can improve the tolerance of plants to water stress under drought conditions. Here we report results from a greenhouse study that evaluated the effects of two mixtures of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on root establishment and biomass production of maize (Zea mays L.) during the early growth stages using two fertilizer sources under drought conditions. Treatments included three irrigation levels (watering every 3, 6, and 12 days), two fertilizer materials (poultry litter and urea) applied at 45 kg total N ha-1, and two PGPR strain mixtures and a non-inoculated control. Irrigation significantly affected plant growth and biomass accumulation of maize at V6 to VT stages. Compared to poultry litter, urea application increased plant height, leaf greenness, leaf area, and plant biomass. PGPR significantly improved plant height, stem diameter, leaf greenness, and root morphologies under drought stress conditions. Therefore, PGPR inoculation could stimulate plant development likely through the production of plant growth regulators by bacteria at the rhizosphere, thereby enhancing root development, which results in better absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. Future research is needed to investigate the efficacy of PGPR on crop growth under nutrient and water limited conditions often experienced in agricultural fields.