Pyroligneous acid (PA) is often used in agriculture as a plant growth and yield enhancer. However, the influence of PA application on soil microorganisms is not often studied. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of PA (0.01–5% w/w in soil) on the microbial diversity in two different soils. At the end of eight weeks of incubation, soil microbial community dynamics were determined by Illumina-MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The microbial composition differed between the lower (0.01% and 0.1%) and the higher (1% and 5%) concentration in both PA spiked soils. The lower concentration of PA resulted in higher microbial diversity and dehydrogenase activity (DHA) compared to the un-spiked control and the soil spiked with high PA concentrations. Interestingly, PA-induced plant growth-promoting bacterial (PGPB) genera include Bradyrhizobium, Azospirillum, Pseudomonas, Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium, Herbaspiriluum, Acetobacter, Beijerinckia, and Nitrosomonas at lower concentrations. Additionally, the PICRUSt functional analysis revealed the predominance of metabolism as the functional module’s primary component in both soils spiked with 0.01% and 0.1% PA. Overall, the results elucidated that PA application in soil at lower concentrations promoted soil DHA and microbial enrichment, particularly the PGPB genera, and thus have great implications for improving soil health.
This study aimed at valorizing digestate through Trichoderma spp. solid-state fermentation (SSF) to produce a potentially ameliorated fertilizer combined with fungal biomass as a value-added bioproduct. Plant-growth-promoting Trichoderma atroviride Ta13, T. reesei RUT-C30, T. asperellum R, and T. harzianum T-22 were tested on different SSF substrates: whole digestate (WD), digestate dried up with wood sawdust (SSF1), and digestate enriched with food waste and dried up with wood sawdust (SSF2). The fungal biomass was quantified by using a qPCR assay. The growth of the four Trichoderma spp. was only observed on the SSF2 substrate. The highest quantity of mycelium was produced by T. reesei RUT-30 (689.80 ± 80.53 mg/g substrate), followed by T. atroviride Ta13, and T. asperellum R (584.24 ± 13.36 and 444.79 ± 91.02 mg/g substrate). The germination of Lepidium sativum seeds was evaluated in order to assess the phytoxicity of the Trichoderma-enriched substrate. The treatments with 7.5% SSF2-R, 3.75% SSF2-T-22, and 1.8% SSF2-Ta13 equally enhanced the root elongation in comparison to the non-fermented SSF-2. This study demonstrated that digestate, mixed with agro-food waste, was able to support the cultivation of Trichoderma spp., paving the way to the valorization of fermented digestate as a proper biofertilizer.
Burkholderia sp. is a bacterial genus extremely versatile in the environment and has been reported for a great potential to promote plant growth via different mechanisms. Here we evaluate the plant growth-promoting mechanisms in twenty-six Burkholderia strains. Strains were evaluated for their ability to promote plant growth by means of: indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production under different conditions of pH, salt stress and the presence or absence of L-tryptophan; exopolysaccharides (EPS) production and quorum sensing (ALH). The strains were also characterized in terms of their genetic variability and species identification through Sanger sequencing. Then, the bacteria most responsive in the greatest number of plant-growth promotion mechanisms were selected for a corn seed germination test. All bacteria synthesized IAA in medium with 0.0 or 5.0 mM of L-tryptophan in combination with either 1 or 5% of NaCl, and pH values of either 4.5 or 7.2. The EPS production was confirmed for 61.54% of the bacterial strains. Quorum sensing also occurred in 92.3% of the selected bacteria. The Jaccard similarity coefficient revealed 16 clusters with high genetic variability between bacterial strains. Bacterial strains were assigned to seven species: B. anthina, B. cepacia, B. gladioli, B. ambifaria, B. graminis, B. heleia, and Burkholderia spp. The corn seed bacterization did not affect the germination velocity index (GSI), as well as the first count of germinated seeds (FC). However, inoculations formulated with B. heleia strain G28, B. gladioli strain UAGC723, and B. graminis strain UAGC348 promoted significant increases in root length, seedling height and fresh and dry seedling phytomass, respectively. These results indicate the high biotechnological potential of several strains in the genus Burkholderia sp. as seed inoculants, favoring germination and seedling initial development.
Plants and their microbiomes, including plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can work as a team to reduce the adverse effects of different types of stress, including drought, heat, cold, and heavy metals stresses, as well as salinity in soils. These abiotic stresses are reviewed here, with an emphasis on salinity and its negative consequences on crops, due to their wide presence in cultivable soils around the world. Likewise, the factors that stimulate the salinity of soils and their impact on microbial diversity and plant physiology were also analyzed. In addition, the saline soils that exist in Mexico were analyzed as a case study. We also made some proposals for a more extensive use of bacterial bioinoculants in agriculture, particularly in developing countries. Finally, PGPB are highly relevant and extremely helpful in counteracting the toxic effects of soil salinity and improving crop growth and production; therefore, their use should be intensively promoted.