Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 13, pp 5131–5142 | Cite as

Roles of microbes in supporting sustainable rice production using the system of rice intensification

  • Febri DoniEmail author
  • Muhamad Shakirin MispanEmail author
  • Nurul Shamsinah Mohd Suhaimi
  • Nazri Ishak
  • Norman Uphoff


The system of rice intensification (SRI) is an agroecological approach to rice cultivation that seeks to create optimal conditions for healthy plant growth by minimizing inter-plant competition, transplanting widely spaced young single seedlings, and optimizing favorable soil conditions with organic amendments, increased soil aeration by weeding, and controlled water management. These practices improve rice plant growth with yields up to three times more than with conventional cultivation methods, and increase crop resilience under biotic and abiotic stresses. This review discusses the roles of beneficial microbes in improving rice plant growth, yield, and resilience when SRI practices are used, and how these modifications in plant, soil, water, and nutrient management affect the populations and diversity of soil microorganisms. Mechanisms whereby symbiotic microbes support rice plants’ growth and performance are also discussed.


Microbes Plant–microbe interactions Symbiosis System of rice intensification 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme FRGS/1/2015/SG03/UM/02/3, and University of Malaya under the Bantuan Kecil Penyelidikan BK004-2015 and the CEBAR fund RU006-2017.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture (CEBAR)University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.SRI International Network and Resources CenterCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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