Microbe-Mediated Induced Abiotic Stress Tolerance Responses in Plants

  • Neveen B. TalaatEmail author
  • Bahaa T. Shawky


Abiotic stresses, including salinity, drought, high temperature, chilling injury, and heavy metal toxicity, have become major limiting factors for the global agricultural production. Moreover, these environmental conditions have increased over time due to change in global climate pattern and human interference. Using a diverse array of microorganisms harbored by plants to improve plant growth and host stress tolerance may benefit in sustaining the increases in food production in many regions of the world. Microbes help in rendering plants tolerant to these unfavorable environmental stresses. This cross-stress protection provided by microbial inoculants plays an important role in maintaining ecological balance and holds promise for generating more tolerant crops. Microorganisms not only provide “non-nutritional” effects in stabilizing soil aggregates, prevent erosion, detoxify pesticides, and suppress plant diseases and soilborne pathogens, but they can also fix atmospheric nitrogen, solubilize mineral phosphate, decompose organic wastes and residues, improve nutrient cycling, produce bioactive compounds, produce phytohormone and siderophore, as well as enhance osmolyte production, plant–water relation, photosynthetic capacity, protein assimilation, plant hormonal status, ionic balance, antioxidant production, and other physiological parameters inside the plant. In addition, using compatible multiple microbial consortia consisting of bacterial symbionts and fungal symbionts acting synergistically, providing various beneficial effects, is also a potential technical tool. Furthermore, intensive selection of stress-tolerant bioinoculants could improve plant abiotic stress tolerance and thus enhance crop productivity under stressful conditions. This chapter documents the potential of microorganisms and highlights insights into the mechanisms underlying improved stress tolerance in plants by microbial colonization.


Abiotic stress Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Microbes Plant growth-promoting bacteria Plant microbe interaction Plant stress tolerance 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of AgricultureCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Microbial Chemistry, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research DivisionNational Research CentreGizaEgypt

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