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Performance of low and high Fe accumulator wheat genotypes grown on soils with low or high available Fe and endophyte inoculation

Abstract

One of the important limiting factors to realising the benefits of modern high- yielding crop varieties is the availability of iron (Fe) in the soil, which often leads to Fe deficiency in food grains. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the role of two siderophore-producing endophytes (Arthrobacter sulfonivorans DS-68 and Enterococcus hirae DS-163) in the biofortification of grains with Fe and enhance yield in four genotypes of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in soils with low and high available Fe content. Endophyte inoculation increased the surface area, volume, length of roots and number of root tips by 78.27, 75, 71 and 44%, respectively, relative to the uninoculated control (recommended dose of fertilizers; RDF), across genotypes and soil types. In the low available-Fe soil, inoculation with endophytes increased grain yield twofold relative to the control (RDF), whereas in the high available-Fe soil, the increase was only 1.2-fold across genotypes. In general, endophyte inoculation caused an increase of 1.5-fold and 2.2-fold in iron concentration in grains over the RDF + FeSO4 treatment and uninoculated control (RDF), respectively, across all the genotypes and both soil types. Such siderophore-producing endophytes can be recommended as bioinoculants to mitigate iron deficiencies in the soil and enhance crop productivity.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi for the financial support through NASF project. The Division of Microbiology, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi is gratefully acknowledged for the facilities provided, during the present study.

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Singh, D., Geat, N., Rajawat, M.V.S. et al. Performance of low and high Fe accumulator wheat genotypes grown on soils with low or high available Fe and endophyte inoculation. Acta Physiol Plant 42, 24 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-019-2997-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-019-2997-4

Keywords

  • Endophyte
  • Fe-biofortification
  • Root morphology
  • Siderophore
  • Grain yield