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Article

Development and Characterization of Efficient K-Solubilizing Rhizobacteria and Mesorhizobial Inoculants for Chickpea

1
Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha 40100, Punjab, Pakistan
2
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60000, Punjab, Pakistan
3
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, GC, University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Punjab, Pakistan
4
Soil and Water Testing Laboratory for Research, Sargodha 40100, Punjab, Pakistan
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Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
6
Department of Environment and Soil Sciences, University of Lleida, Avinguda Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roberto Mancinelli
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10240; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810240
Received: 14 July 2021 / Revised: 5 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 14 September 2021
The use of mineral fertilizers has long been associated with the improved growth of crop plants as well as increased yield potential per unit area. However, the incessant practice of imbalanced fertilizers application has increased the economic and environmental costs for the agricultural sector. The deficiency of potassium (K) has been identified as a primary crop production challenge in certain semi-arid regions where soil-K reserves are increasingly being depleted. This study aimed to isolate and characterize K-solubilizing bacterial strains from the rhizosphere and root nodules of chickpea. Initially, 50 rhizobacterial strains and 50 rhizobial strains were isolated using Aleksandrov’s medium. Each of these collections was narrowed down to 25 strains, following a rigorous qualitative screening based on different physiological, morphological and biochemical tests. From these, five strains each of rhizosphere and nodule origins were selected based on qualitative as well quantitative determination of various growth promoting traits. In addition to efficient potassium and phosphate solubilization, the selected strains displayed better growth conditions, as evident by glucose substrate use at 25 °C and pH 7. In this study, we found that strains SKB3 (rhizosphere) and JKR7 (rhizobia) were the most efficient K-solubilizers. Additionally, they possessed diverse plant growth promoting traits such as root colonization, the synthesis of siderophores, exopolysaccharides, chitinase activity, indole-acetic acid production and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity. Overall, our results suggest that the application of bacterial K-solubilizers could be employed as a useful K-supplement in K-limited agroecosystems. Moreover, the use of these K-solubilizers may help lead in alleviating the negative environmental impacts associated with chemical fertilizer. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial co-inoculants; K-solubilizing activity; screening; characterization; legume bacterial co-inoculants; K-solubilizing activity; screening; characterization; legume
MDPI and ACS Style

Siddiqui, A.R.; Shahzad, S.M.; Ashraf, M.; Yasmeen, T.; Kausar, R.; Albasher, G.; Alkahtani, S.; Shakoor, A. Development and Characterization of Efficient K-Solubilizing Rhizobacteria and Mesorhizobial Inoculants for Chickpea. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10240. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810240

AMA Style

Siddiqui AR, Shahzad SM, Ashraf M, Yasmeen T, Kausar R, Albasher G, Alkahtani S, Shakoor A. Development and Characterization of Efficient K-Solubilizing Rhizobacteria and Mesorhizobial Inoculants for Chickpea. Sustainability. 2021; 13(18):10240. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810240

Chicago/Turabian Style

Siddiqui, Ali R., Sher M. Shahzad, Muhammad Ashraf, Tahira Yasmeen, Rizwana Kausar, Gadah Albasher, Saad Alkahtani, and Awais Shakoor. 2021. "Development and Characterization of Efficient K-Solubilizing Rhizobacteria and Mesorhizobial Inoculants for Chickpea" Sustainability 13, no. 18: 10240. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810240

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