Abstract - Growth enhancers at the root zone


Acidovorax M6-V2-hamsa
The rhizosphere composes a nutrient-rich niche, with dense and diverse microbial populations. The rhizosphere microbiota and its functioning are greatly affected by environmental physical and chemical conditions as well as by the plant genotype. This, in turn, may lead to beneficial or detrimental outcomes like plant growth increase and plant protection or to disease, respectively. The aim of this project is to develop plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, including biocontrol agents (PGPR) and implementation procedures, including through controlled irrigation systems. The project will exploit the ability to introduce and track specific microorganisms and their effects in the rhizosphere to develop novel approaches to growth promotion and disease control. We'll also make use of novel technologies to characterize the root microbiota under changing conditions. The project will concentrate on important crops like tomato and potato, and on novel grafts developed in the grafting project, including approaches of environmental monitoring developed in the monitoring project.
Various strains of Azospirillum and Paenibacillus as well as novel strains isolated by us and showing PGP potential will be tested on the different crops under various conditions, including creating inoculation complexes with the predatory bacteria Bdellovibrio and like organisms and testing their effects on plant growth and health. Finally, by applying novel sequencing technologies we'll track how the root microbiota and its genetic potential change under fluctuating conditions. This project is expected to provide:
1. Novel approaches for PGP, leading to novel PGPR.
2. Characterization of beneficial microbial profiles, i.e. novel markers for a healthy rhizosphere.
3. Implementation procedures for novel PGPR through the irrigation system.