Both biotic and abiotic stresses are major constrains to agricultural production. Under stress conditions, plant growth is affected by a number of factors such as hormonal and nutritional imbalance, ion toxicity, physiological disorders, and susceptibility to diseases, etc. Plant growth under stress conditions may be enhanced by the application of microbial inoculation including plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and mycorrhizal fungi. These microbes can promote plant growth by regulating nutritional and hormonal balance, producing plant growth regulators, solubilizing nutrients and inducing resistance against plant pathogens. In addition to their interactions with plants, these microbes also show synergistic as well as antagonistic interactions with other microbes in the soil environment. These interactions may be vital for sustainable agriculture because they mainly depend on biological processes rather than on agrochemicals to maintain plant growth and development as well as proper soil health under stress conditions. A number of research articles can be deciphered from the literature, which shows the role of rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae alone and/or in combination in enhancing plant growth under stress conditions. However, in contrast, a few review papers are available which discuss the synergistic interactions between rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae for enhancing plant growth under normal (non-stress) or stressful environments. Biological interactions between PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi are believed to cause a cumulative effect on all rhizosphere components, and these interactions are also affected by environmental factors such as soil type, nutrition, moisture and temperature. The present review comprehensively discusses recent developments on the effectiveness of PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi for enhancing plant growth under stressful environments. The key mechanisms involved in plant stress tolerance and the effectiveness of microbial inoculation for enhancing plant growth under stress conditions have been discussed at length in this review. Growth promotion by single and dual inoculation of PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi under stress conditions have also been discussed and reviewed comprehensively.
Via Jean-Michel Ané