Harnessing Soil Rhizobacteria for Improving Drought Resilience in Legumes

  • Parvaze A. Sofi
  • Zahoor A. Baba
  • Burhan Hamid
  • Ram Swaroop Meena


There are multiple challenges like population growth, food security imperatives, hunger and malnutrition, climate change, economic access to food, decreasing factor in productivity. Such challenges necessitate an appropriate research and policy framework. The aim of this chapter is to focus on the sustainability of the soil and crop and commodity production support systems. Sustainability in agriculture is more important for input delivering resources rather than the output. It is also more important than all biological attributes, including the beneficial microbes, which is the key to it. The nexus of soil microbes-legumes-is an inseparable entity. This is the recent focus on soil biological health and legumes in achieving sustainability. Soil rhizobacteria are important especially in legume-based farming systems. This is because the resource constraints such as water and nutrients often limit the productivity of such systems. There are substantial evidences based on research findings to build a valid premise. This premise should deal with legume-rhizobial associations which can be optimally harnessed. The objective behind this is to not only enhance productivity under favourable systems but also to improve resilience to stresses such as drought. Soil rhizobacteria colonise the endo-rhizosphere/rhizosphere to drought tolerance by producing phytohormones, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC), deaminase, volatile compounds and antioxidants, inducing accumulation of osmolytes. They also decrease the regulation of stress-responsive genes and alteration in root morphology during the acquisition of drought tolerance. The ability of soil microbes to transfer their intrinsic resilience to legume hosts opens up an amazing world of opportunities. These opportunities can be harnessed by identifying optimal legume-microbe associations. On the research front, there is a need to identify resilience mechanisms. Besides this, the underlying genetic factors and the mechanisms in host plants that optimise associations have to be identified. On the management front, there is need to create enabling conditions in soil systems that enhance the population and functionality of native and introduced microbial systems. These systems can favourably enhance output especially under resource-constrained conditions.


Legumes Drought stress Rhizobacteria Sustainability 





Biological nitrogen fixation


Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research




Plant growth-promoting bacteria


Phosphate-solubilising bacteria


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parvaze A. Sofi
    • 1
  • Zahoor A. Baba
    • 2
  • Burhan Hamid
    • 2
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureSKUAST-K, WaduraSoporeIndia
  2. 2.Biofertilser Research LaboratorySKUAST-K, WaduraSoporeIndia
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyInstitute of Agricultural Sciences (BHU)VaranasiIndia

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