Rhizospheric Microflora: A Natural Alleviator of Drought Stress in Agricultural Crops

  • J. Patel Priyanka
  • R. Trivedi Goral
  • K. Shah Rupal
  • Meenu Saraf
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 12)


Global climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. Plant growth promotion and productivity are affected due to abiotic stresses which are specifically critical in arid and semiarid regions of the world. Abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, metal toxicity, etc. are affecting adversely the agricultural crops. The major abiotic stresses in India are drought stress and soil moisture stress. Various abiotic stress management procedures are implemented to reduce these stresses. However, as such strategies are long and costly, there is a need to develop simple and low-cost biological methods for managing drought stress. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) manage these stresses by various mechanisms, viz., tolerance to stresses, adaptations, and response mechanisms that can be subsequently engineered into plants to deal with climate change-induced stresses. These affect almost two-thirds of the farming areas of the arid and semiarid ecosystems. Production of indole acetic acid (IAA), gibberellins, and certain unknown determining factors by rhizospheric microflora results in enhanced root length, surface area, and number of root tips, leading to improved uptake of nutrients, thereby enhancing plant health under drought environments. Rhizospheric microflora enhances plant stress tolerance through 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase and provides protection to agricultural crops from the damage caused by drought stress. These rhizospheric bacteria enhance plant resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria mitigate the influence of drought on crops through a process called induced systemic resistance (ISR), which comprises (a) cytokinin production, (b) antioxidant production, and (c) ACC degradation by bacterial ACC deaminase. Implementation of the rhizospheric microorganisms together with novel technologies for their monitoring and risk assessments can contribute to solve food security problems caused by climate change. Present review captures the recent work on the function of microorganisms in helping plants to deal with drought stress which is the major stress caused by climate change.


Abiotic stress Drought PGPR ACC Agricultural crops 



We are thankful to our guide professor, Dr. Meenu Saraf, and the Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Gujarat University, for encouraging us.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Patel Priyanka
    • 1
  • R. Trivedi Goral
    • 1
  • K. Shah Rupal
    • 1
  • Meenu Saraf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and BiotechnologyUniversity School of Sciences, Gujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia

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