Effect of Biostimulants in the Soil-Plant-Microbe System

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 3706

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDRA) Finca El Encín, Autovía A-2. Km. 38,200, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Interests: microbiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue, edited by Dr. Regina Gabilondo, will focus on all of the processes and interactions of the soil–plant–microbe system and the effect of biostimulants in the soil–plant–microbe system, with the aim of establishing a better understanding of the biostimulant mechanisms of action in plants, soil, and edaphic fauna. Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 defines the term biostimulant as “an EU fertilizer product whose function is to stimulate the nutritional processes of plants regardless of the nutrient content of the product, with the sole objective of improving one or more of the following plant characteristics and its rhizosphere: efficiency in the use of nutrients, tolerance to abiotic stress, quality characteristics or availability of nutrients immobilized in the soil and the rhizosphere”. There are different types of biostimulants, including those based on beneficial microorganisms (bacteria and fungi), algae and chitosan products. Those belonging to the group called “plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria” (PGPR) are among the most commonly used treatments in plant cultures. Most of the beneficial organisms used as biostimulants for plants live in the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is a region around the plant roots possessing intense microbial and faunal activity through all nutrients a plant absorbs, a process which is still not fully understood. Plants secrete high amounts of molecules into the soil through their roots, which are called exudates that stimulate microbial activity in the rhizosphere. These exudates provide carbon to the soil microorganisms that are strongly carbon-limited, mainly fast-growing bacteria, and are increased together with microfaunal grazers such as bacterial-feeding protozoa and free-living nematodes. The exudate carbon comes from the total net fixed carbon by plants, representing 10-20% of it. Another 10-20% is consumed by microbial symbionts, such as mycorrhizae or N2-fixing microorganisms. Supporting microbial interactions in the rhizosphere is of great importance for plants, because the availability of mineral nutrients to plants is strongly enhanced via the microbial loop. Bacteria feed on the soil nutrients through different ways and then are liberated by microfaunal grazing, increasing their bioavailability for plants. Biostimulants provide beneficial microorganisms, nutrients, vitamins and other compounds that interact with the soil and rhizosphere of the plants, with the aim of promoting their growth and yield.

In this Special Issue, research advances will be presented to understand the effect of biostimulants in the soil–plant–microbe system, ecology and biochemistry, and mechanisms of action.

Dr. Regina Gabilondo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • soil–plant–microbe system
  • biostimulant
  • rhizosphere
  • fertilizer
  • availability of mineral nutrients
  • microfaunal grazing
  • protozoa
  • nematode
  • mycorrhizae
  • microbial loop

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 4417 KiB  
Article
Application of Biostimulant in Seeds and Soil on Three Chickpea Varieties: Impacts on Germination, Vegetative Development, and Bacterial Facilitation of Nitrogen and Phosphorus
by Elisa Gómez, Alejandro Alonso, Jorge Sánchez, Pedro Muñoz, José Marín, David Mostaza-Colado and Pedro V. Mauri
Life 2024, 14(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14010148 - 19 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) are a valuable legume crop due to their nutritional value. To maintain chickpea productivity and avoid the adverse effects of climate change on soil and plant processes, it is crucial to address demand. Achieving this necessitates implementing sustainable [...] Read more.
Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) are a valuable legume crop due to their nutritional value. To maintain chickpea productivity and avoid the adverse effects of climate change on soil and plant processes, it is crucial to address demand. Achieving this necessitates implementing sustainable agricultural practices incorporating the use of biostimulants, adaptable crops for arid conditions, as well as pest and disease-resistant crops that are sustainable over time. Three varieties of chickpeas were analysed to determine the effect of two different biostimulant application methods on both germination and vegetative growth. Possible effects due to location were also examined by conducting tests at two different sites. Significant variations in biostimulant response were evident only during the germination period, but not during the vegetative development stage, where the observed statistical differences were influenced more by the location or variety of chickpeas employed. Furthermore, this study examined the effect of biostimulants on nutrient cycling within the soil–plant microbiota system. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria (NFB) are present in the soil of chickpea crops at an order of magnitude of 107 CFU/g DS. Additionally, an average concentration of 106 CFU/g DS of phosphorus-mobilising bacteria was observed. Applying biostimulants (BioE) to seeds resulted in a successful germination percentage (GP) for both Amelia (AM) and IMIDRA 10 (IM) varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Biostimulants in the Soil-Plant-Microbe System)
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15 pages, 1974 KiB  
Article
Combined Soil Microorganism Amendments and Foliar Micronutrient Nanofertilization Increased the Production of Allium cepa L. through Aquaporin Gene Regulation
by José A. Berna-Sicilia, Mercy Quizhpe-Romero, María Hurtado-Navarro, José A. Pascual, Micaela Carvajal and Gloria Bárzana
Life 2024, 14(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14010004 - 19 Dec 2023
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of changes in aquaporin expression on the growth of onion (Allium cepa L.) plants when subjected to dual applications of microorganism-based soil amendments and foliar nanoencapsulated mineral nutrients. Multiple physiological parameters related [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of changes in aquaporin expression on the growth of onion (Allium cepa L.) plants when subjected to dual applications of microorganism-based soil amendments and foliar nanoencapsulated mineral nutrients. Multiple physiological parameters related to water, gas exchange, and nutrient content in leaf, root, and bulb tissues were determined. Additionally, the gene expression of aquaporins, specifically PIP1, PIP2 (aquaporin subfamily plasma membrane intrinsic protein), and TIP2 (aquaporin subfamily tonoplast intrinsic protein), was analyzed. The findings revealed that the foliar application of nutrients in a nanoencapsulated form significantly enhanced nutrient penetration, mobilization, and overall plant growth to a greater extent than free-form fertilizers. Amendments with microorganisms alone did not promote growth but influenced the production of secondary metabolites in the bulbs. The combination of microorganisms and nanoencapsulated mineral nutrients demonstrated synergistic effects, increasing dry matter, mineral content, and aquaporin gene expression. This suggests that aquaporins play a pivotal role in the transport of nutrients from leaves to storage organs, resulting in the overexpression of PIP2 aquaporins in bulbs, improved water uptake, and enhanced cell growth. Therefore, the combined treatment with microorganisms and nanoencapsulated mineral nutrients may be an optimal approach for enhancing onion productivity by regulating aquaporins under field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Biostimulants in the Soil-Plant-Microbe System)
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21 pages, 2137 KiB  
Article
Revitalizing the Biochemical Soil Properties of Degraded Coastal Soil Using Prosopis juliflora Biochar
by Hiba M. Alkharabsheh, Riziki Mwadalu, Benson Mochoge, Benjamin Danga, Muhammad Ali Raza, Mahmoud F. Seleiman, Naeem Khan and Harun Gitari
Life 2023, 13(10), 2098; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13102098 - 22 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Biochar is an effective soil amendment with capabilities of boosting carbon sequestration and enhancing soil fertility, thus enhancing plant growth and productivity. While numerous studies have documented the positive effects of biochar on improving soil properties, a number of studies have reported conflicting [...] Read more.
Biochar is an effective soil amendment with capabilities of boosting carbon sequestration and enhancing soil fertility, thus enhancing plant growth and productivity. While numerous studies have documented the positive effects of biochar on improving soil properties, a number of studies have reported conflicting results. Therefore, the current study was conducted to evaluate the impact of Prosopis juliflora biochar (0, 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 t ha−1) on soil biochemical properties in Coastal Kenya to ascertain biochar’s potential for soil fertility improvement. A randomized complete block design was used for setting up the experiment with three replicates, while Casuarina equisetifolia L. was planted as the test crop. Soil sampling for nutrient analysis was conducted quarterly for 12 months to assess nutrient dynamics under different biochar rates in the current study. Compared to soil untreated with Prosopis juliflora biochar, the results showed that there was a significant increase in soil pH by 21% following biochar utilization at the rate of 7.5 t ha−1. Total nitrogen was increased by 32% after the biochar application, whereas the total organic carbon was increased by four folds in comparison to biochar-untreated soil. Available phosphorus was increased by 264% following biochar application in comparison to the control treatment. In addition, the application of biochar resulted in an increment in the soil exchangeable cations (Ca2+, K+, Mg2+) across the assessment periods. Soil cation exchange capacity (CEC), bacteria and fungi were enhanced by 95, 33 and 48%, respectively, following biochar application at 7.5 t ha−1 in comparison to untreated soil. In conclusion, these results strongly suggest improvement of soil biochemical properties following Prosopis juliflora biochar application, thus providing potential for soil fertility improvement in regions such as the one in the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Biostimulants in the Soil-Plant-Microbe System)
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