24 Jul 6 Ways Bacteria Promote Healthier Plants
Rhizobacteria are bacteria that are found in soil. Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonise plant roots and stimulate plant growth. However, different bacteria do this in different ways. Here are 6 ways that PGPR can lead to healthier plants and better yields:
– Legumes form root nodules that contain symbiotic bacteria (Rhizobium species). Other crops can use nitrogen that is made available from non-symbiotic soil bacteria.
Help in Nodulation
– The complex process of nodulation requires many hormones and enzymes produced by a wide variety of soil microbes, not just the Rhizobium species that ultimately form the root nodules.
– Plant growth hormones produced by bacteria include auxins, gibberellins, and cytokinins, and can result in plants with higher root weights, longer roots, as well as more and longer root hairs and lateral roots.
– PGPR can enhance the availability of nutrients in the soil and allow the nutrients to be taken up and used more efficiently by the plants.
– Siderophores are small compounds that binds to iron in the soil; this can deprive some of the disease-causing microflora of the iron they otherwise need to survive.
– Allowing microbes to colonise root systems of host plants can be an environmentally-friendly alternative to expensive pesticides to combat weeds, as well as fungal and bacterial infections.