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Biotechnological uses of desiccation-tolerant microorganisms for the rhizoremediation of soils subjected to seasonal drought

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Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) increase the viability and health of host plants when they colonize roots and engage in associative symbiosis (Bashan et al. 2004). In return, PGPR viability is increased by host plant roots by the provision of nutrients and a more protective environment (Richardson et al. in Plant Soil 321:305–339, 2009). The PGPR have great potential in agriculture since the combination of certain microorganisms and plants can increase crop production and increase protection against frost, salinity, drought and other environmental stresses such as the presence of xenobiotic pollutants. But there is a great challenge in combining plants and microorganisms without compromising the viability of either microorganisms or seeds. In this paper, we review how anhydrobiotic engineering can be used for the formulation of biotechnological tools that guarantee the supply of both plants and microorganisms in the dry state. We also describe the application of this technology for the selection of desiccation-tolerant PGPR for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons bioremediation, in soils subjected to seasonal drought, by the rhizoremediation process.

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We thank the Junta de Andalucia (Spain) for funding this study through project reference P07-RNM-02588. Maximino Manzanera and Susana Vilchez were granted funding by Programa Ramón y Cajal (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain and European Regional Development Fund, European Union).

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Vilchez, S., Manzanera, M. Biotechnological uses of desiccation-tolerant microorganisms for the rhizoremediation of soils subjected to seasonal drought. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 91, 1297–1304 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3461-6

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  • Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria
  • Rhizoremediation
  • Anhydrobiotic engineering
  • Desiccation tolerance