Role of microorganisms in adaptation of agriculture crops to abiotic stresses

  • Minakshi Grover
  • Sk. Z. Ali
  • V. Sandhya
  • Abdul Rasul
  • B. Venkateswarlu
Original Paper


Increased incidences of abiotic and biotic stresses impacting productivity in principal crops are being witnessed all over the world. Extreme events like prolonged droughts, intense rains and flooding, heat waves and frost damages are likely to further increase in future due to climate change. A wide range of adaptations and mitigation strategies are required to cope with such impacts. Efficient resource management and crop/livestock improvement for evolving better breeds can help to overcome abiotic stresses to some extent. However, such strategies being long drawn and cost intensive, there is a need to develop simple and low cost biological methods for the management of abiotic stress, which can be used on short term basis. Microorganisms could play a significant role in this respect, if we can exploit their unique properties of tolerance to extremities, their ubiquity, genetic diversity, their interaction with crop plants and develop methods for their successful deployment in agriculture production. Besides influencing the physico-chemical properties of rhizospheric soil through production of exopolysaccharides and formation of biofilm, microorganisms can also influence higher plants response to abiotic stresses like drought, chilling injury, salinity, metal toxicity and high temperature, through different mechanisms like induction of osmo-protectants and heat shock proteins etc. in plant cells. Use of these microorganisms per se can alleviate stresses in crop plants thus opening a new and emerging application in agriculture. These microbes also provide excellent models for understanding the stress tolerance, adaptation and response mechanisms that can be subsequently engineered into crop plants to cope with climate change induced stresses.


Abiotic stress tolerance Microorganisms Crop production Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minakshi Grover
    • 1
  • Sk. Z. Ali
    • 1
  • V. Sandhya
    • 1
  • Abdul Rasul
    • 1
  • B. Venkateswarlu
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Research Institute for Dryland AgricultureHyderabadIndia

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