Desert farming forms bacterial communities that promote drought resistance
When there is little water available for plants to grow, their roots form alliances with soil microbes that can promote plant growth even under water-limiting conditions, according to research published Oct. 31 by Daniele Daffonchio and colleagues from the University of Milan, Italy in the open access journal PLOS ONE. Symbiotic relationships between plants and soil microbial communities are critical to the health of plants. Though the effects of drought on plants are well-known, little is known about how lack of water affects the bacteria around plant roots.
In this study, the researchers grew pepper plants under conditions of limited water and analyzed the bacterial species around the roots of the plants. They found that drought stress enriched the microbial communities with bacteria capable of increasing plant photosynthesis and biomass production by up to 40% under limited water conditions.
According to Daffonchio, ""Our findings highlight that fully functional plants cannot be considered single organisms anymore, but meta-organisms of the plant and its microbiome, which promotes essential functions like resistance to water stress. The promotion of drought resistance by bacteria can have important applications, for instance, in retaining high yields from plants even in the presence of lower irrigation. "
Source: Public Library of Science
- Desert farming forms bacterial communities that promote drought resistancefrom Science DailyThu, 1 Nov 2012, 10:00:50 EDT
- Desert farming forms bacterial communities that promote drought resistancefrom PhysorgWed, 31 Oct 2012, 20:30:39 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Common bacteria on verge of becoming antibiotic-resistant superbugs
- Lemur teeth help take a bite out of Madagascar's mysteries
- Dark matter even darker than once thought
- UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests
- The Mediterranean diet is not only healthier, it also pollutes less
- New processing technology converts packing peanuts to battery components
- Scientists pinpoint molecule that switches on stem cell genes
- International study raises questions about cause of global ice ages
- Researchers develop detailed genetic map of world wheat varieties
- Adapting to climate change will bring new environmental problems