Microbial Inoculants as Plant Biostimulants: A Review on Risk Status

Menka Kumari, Preeti Swarupa, Kavindra Kumar Kesari, Anil Kumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Modern agriculture systems are copiously dependent on agrochemicals such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides intended to increase crop production and yield. The indiscriminate use of these chemicals not only affects the growth of plants due to the accumulation of toxic compounds, but also degrades the quality and life-supporting properties of soil. There is a dire need to develop some green approach that can resolve these issues and restore soil fertility and sustainability. The use of plant biostimulants has emerged as an environmentally friendly and acceptable method to increase crop productivity. Biostimulants contain biological substances which may be capable of increasing or stimulating plant growth in an eco-friendly manner. They are mostly biofertilizers that provide nutrients and protect plants from environmental stresses such as drought and salinity. In contrast to the protection of crop products, biostimulants not only act on the plant’s vigor but also do not respond to direct actions against pests or diseases. Plant biostimulants improve nutrient mobilization and uptake, tolerance to stress, and thus crop quality when applied to plants directly or in the rhizospheric region. They foster plant growth and development by positively affecting the crop life-cycle starting from seed germination to plant maturity. Legalized application of biostimulants causes no hazardous effects on the environment and primarily provides nutrition to plants. It nurtures the growth of soil microorganisms, which leads to enhanced soil fertility and also improves plant metabolism. Additionally, it may positively influence the exogenous microbes and alter the equilibrium of the microfloral composition of the soil milieu. This review frequently cites the characterization of microbial plant biostimulants that belong to either a high-risk group or are closely related to human pathogens such as Pueudomonas, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Acinetobacter, etc. These related pathogens cause ailments including septicemia, gastroenteritis, wound infections, inflammation in the respiratory system, meningitis, etc., of varied severity under different conditions of health status such as immunocompromized and comorbidity. Thus it may attract the related concern to review the risk status of biostimulants for their legalized applications in agriculture. This study mainly emphasizes microbial plant biostimulants and their safe application concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Number of pages26
JournalLife
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review

Keywords

  • biofertilizers
  • biostimulants
  • phytostimulator
  • rhizosphere
  • soil microorganisms

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