Chapter

Innovations in Dryland Agriculture

pp 491-520

Date:

Application of Microbiology in Dryland Agriculture

  • Minakshi GroverAffiliated withCentral Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture Email author 
  • , B. VenkateswarluAffiliated withVasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth
  • , S. DesaiAffiliated withCentral Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
  • , K. A. GopinathAffiliated withCentral Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
  • , Cherukumalli Srinivasa RaoAffiliated withCentral Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture

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Abstract

Microorganisms are key players in nutrient cycling and hence form important components of a soil ecosystem. Besides, improving nutrient availability, certain microorganisms also provide growth and health benefits to plants through direct and indirect mechanisms. Dryland soils are are poorly developed with low organic matter content and hence have poor water retention capacity. Besides, dryland soils face various abiotic stresses like nutrient imbalance, drought, heat etc. Application of organic based fertilizers improves the microbial populations and soil organic carbon. Cropping systems and residue management practices also influence microbial parameters in dryland soils. Increased abundance of microorganisms in dryland soil can help in improving soil aggregation and soil organic matter carbon content, thus increasing the water retention capacity of the soil. Besides, microbial inoculants with specific function such as nutrient solubilization and mobilization, plant growth promotion, disease control and abiotic stress management can be applied alone or in combination. Thus, the promotion of microbial-based technologies and/or the management practices that improve soil microbial parameters is important for the sustainability of dryland ecosystems.

Keywords

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Biofertilizer Bioinoculants Cropping systems Organic acids