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The Potential of Bacillus subtilis and Phosphorus in Improving the Growth of Wheat under Chromium Stress

J Appl Microbiol. 2022 Jun 20. doi: 10.1111/jam.15676. Online ahead of print.


AIM: Hexavalent Chromium (Cr+6 ) is one of the most toxic heavy metals that have deteriorating effects on the growth and quality of the end product of wheat. Consequently, this research was designed to evaluate the role of Bacillus subtilis and phosphorus fertilizer on wheat facing Cr+6 stress.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The soil was incubated with Bacillus subtilis and phosphorus fertilizer before sowing. The statistical analysis of the data showed that the co-application of B. subtilis and phosphorus yielded considerably more significant (p<0.05) results compared to an individual application of the respective treatments. The co-treatment improved the morphological, physiological, and biochemical parameters of plants as compared to untreated controls. The increase in shoot length, root length, shoot fresh weight, and root fresh weight was 38.17%, 29.31%, 47.89%, and 45.85%, respectively, compared to untreated stress-facing plants. The application of B. subtilis and phosphorus enhanced osmolytes content (proline 39.98%, and sugar 41.30%), relative water content, and stability maintenance of proteins (86.65%) and cell membranes (66.66%). Furthermore, augmented production of antioxidants by 67.71% (superoxide dismutase), 95.39% (ascorbate peroxidase), and 60.88% (catalase), respectively, were observed in the Cr+6 – stressed plants after co-application of B. subtilis and phosphorus.

CONCLUSION: It was observed that the accumulation of Cr+6 was reduced by 54.24%, 59.19%, and 90.26% in the shoot, root, and wheat grains, respectively. Thus, the combined application of B. subtilis and phosphorus has the potential to reduce the heavy metals toxicity in crops.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: B. This study explored the usefulness of B. subtilis and phosphorus application on wheat in heavy metal stress. It’s a step toward the combinatorial use of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) with nutrients to improve the ecosystems’ health.

PMID:35722974 | DOI:10.1111/jam.15676

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