Soil microbes and plant fertilization
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- Miransari, M. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 92: 875. doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3521-y
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With respect to the adverse effects of chemical fertilization on the environment and their related expenses, especially when overused, alternative methods of fertilization have been suggested and tested. For example, the combined use of chemical fertilization with organic fertilization and/or biological fertilization is among such methods. It has been indicated that the use of organic fertilization with chemical fertilization is a suitable method of providing crop plants with adequate amount of nutrients, while environmentally and economically appropriate. In this article, the importance of soil microbes to the ecosystem is reviewed, with particular emphasis on the role of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and endophytic bacteria in providing necessary nutrients for plant growth and yield production. Such microbes are beneficial to plant growth through colonizing plant roots and inducing mechanisms by which plant growth increases. Although there has been extensive research work regarding the use of microbes as a method of fertilizing plants, it is yet a question how the efficiency of such microbial fertilization to the plant can be determined and increased. In other words, how the right combination of chemical and biological fertilization can be determined. In this article, the most recent advances regarding the effects of microbial fertilization on plant growth and yield production in their combined use with chemical fertilization are reviewed. There are also some details related to the molecular mechanisms affecting the microbial performance and how the use of biological techniques may affect the efficiency of biological fertilization.