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Plant growth promotion of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) by novel bacterial consortium with multifunctional attributes

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Intensive agricultural practices with chemical fertilizers are becoming the reason of environmental deterioration. To feed the ever increasing worldwide population with sustainability goals is a one major challenge and biostimulants developed from the beneficial soil and plant microbiome is a better approach for farming practices to increase the crop productivity. In agricultural fields various categories of biostimulants are utilized that contains one microbial culture and multiple strains of microbes in single formulation as microbial consortium. The mixture of microbial species in a formulation is an emerging technology in the present era because of its multiple benefits for plant growth and plant protection for agro-environment sustainability. The present study deals with the isolation of rhizospheric and endophytic bacteria from different cereal and pseudocereal crops and development of a single inoculum as well as consortium for the cereal crops growth. A total of 147 bacteria (rhizospheric and endophytic) were sorted out and were screened for plant growth promoting attributes of nitrogen fixation, phosphorus and potassium solubilization. Among all the bacterial isolates, three potential strains EU-PEN-6, EU-PRP-12 and EU-PRK-4 exhibiting N-fixing, P and K-solubilizing attributes were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Pseudomonas extremorientalis, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, respectively. In best of our knowledge, the present investigation has firstly reported P. extremorientalis, B. subtilis and B. amyloliquefaciens associated with the endophytic region of wheat and rhizosphere of pearl millet. The strains inoculation on pearl millet as single culture and as bacterial consortium improved the parameters like length and biomass of root/shoot, chlorophyll, carotenoids, total soluble sugar content, phenolics, and flavonoids over untreated control. The bacterial consortium was found to have more potential over single culture inoculation. A bacterial consortium could be used as bioinoculants for cereal crops growing in hilly regions.

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Colony forming unit


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Plant growth promoting


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This study was funded by Department of Biotechnology, Dr. Khem Singh Gill Akal College of Agriculture, Eternal University, Baru Sahib and Department of Environment, Science & Technology (DEST), Shimla, HP funded project “Development of microbial consortium as bio-inoculants for drought and low temperature growing crops for organic farming in Himachal Pradesh”.

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Tanvir Kaur, and Rubee Devi compile the manuscript; Sunil Kumar and Divjot Kour read and review the manuscript and Ajar Nath Yadav hypothesized the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ajar Nath Yadav.

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Kaur, T., Devi, R., Kumar, S. et al. Plant growth promotion of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) by novel bacterial consortium with multifunctional attributes. Biologia 78, 621–631 (2023).

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