Importance and Utilization of Plant-Beneficial Rhizobacteria in Agriculture

  • Bansh Narayan Singh
  • Mahendra Vikram Singh Rajawat
  • Akash Hidangmayum
  • Waquar Akhter Ansari
  • Devendra Singh
  • Mohammad Tarique Zeyad
  • Shiv Charan Kumar
  • Manish Roy
  • Murugan Kumar


Due to the use of a large amount of chemical fertilizers, continuous loss of soil fertility puts pressure on farmers toward more crop production in a sustainable manner. This problem creates a big challenge for farmers to fulfill the demand for the next generation. If an adequate amount of fertilizers is not supplied to crops, it raises major issue related to global food production and food security. Therefore, it requires adapting an eco-friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective approach for agricultural practices without arising environmental issues. Several natural rhizobacteria inhabiting the rhizospheric soil exist, which are used for plant growth promotion. They have tremendous capacity to provide directly or indirectly nutrient availability to the plants, stimulate plant hormones, and secrete certain compounds that help in the association of several other beneficial microbes with plant roots. In addition to restoring soil fertility, they have the capability to protect plants against soil-borne pathogens, thereby promoting plant growth. Further, application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria reduces the utilization of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other artificial growth regulators that cause severe health and environmental issues, soil infertility, water pollution, and biodiversity losses. In this context, sustainable use of rhizobacteria has been suggested to be an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach which increases crop yields and directly or indirectly protects plant from soil-borne pathogens for a long time.


Food security Plant growth Rhizobacteria Soil fertility 



1-Aminocyclopropane-1 carboxylic acid


Biological nitrogen fixation


Induced systemic resistance


Plant-beneficial rhizobacteria


Plant growth regulators


Water retention capacity


  1. Ahemad M, Khan MS (2012) Effect of fungicides on plant growth promoting activities of phosphate solubilizing pseudomonas putida isolated from mustard (Brassica compestris) rhizosphere. Chemosphere 86:945–950PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahemad M, Kibret M (2014) Mechanisms and applications of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: current perspective. J King Saud Univ Sci 26:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antoun H, Kloepper JW (2001) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. In: Brenner S, Miller JH (eds) Encyclopedia of genetics. Academic, New York, pp 1477–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Armada E, Roldan A, Azcon R (2014) Differential activity of autochthonous bacteria in controlling drought stress in native Lavandula and Salvia plants species under drought conditions in natural arid soil. Microb Ecol 67:410–420PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Babalola OO, Glick BR (2012) The use of microbial inoculants in African agriculture: current practice and future prospects. J Food Agric Environ 10:540–549Google Scholar
  6. Baghaeeravari S, Heidarzadeh N (2014) Isolation and characterization of rhizosphere auxin producing bacilli and evaluation of their potency on wheat growth improvement. Arch Agron Soil Sci 60:895–905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bahadur I, Meena VS, Kumar S (2014) Importance and application of potassic biofertilizer in Indian agriculture. Int Res J Biol Sci 3:80–85Google Scholar
  8. Barriuso J, Solano BR (2008) Ecology, genetic diversity and screening strategies of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). J Plant Nutr 5:1–17Google Scholar
  9. Belimov AA, Safronova VI, Sergeyeva TA, Egorova TN, Matveyeva VA, Tsyganov VE, Borisov AY, Tikhonovich IA, Kluge C, Preisfeld A, Dietz KJ, Stepanok VV (2001) Characterization of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria isolated from polluted soils and containing 1-aminocycl opropane-1-carboxylate deaminase. Can J Microbiol 47:642–652PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Benhamou N, Belanger RR, Paulitz TC (1996) Induction of differential host responses by Pseudomonas yuorescens in Ri T-DNA transformed pea roots after challenge with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi and Pythium ultimum. Phytopathology 86:114–178Google Scholar
  11. Bhardwaj D, Ansari MW, Sahoo RK, Tuteja N (2014) Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity. Microb Cell Factories 13:66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bresson J, Varoquaux F, Bontpart T, Touraine B, Vile D (2013) The PGPR strain Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196 induces a reproductive delay and physiological changes that result in improved drought tolerance in Arabidopsis. New Phytol 200:558–569PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cattelan AJ, Hartel PG, Fuhrmann JJ (1999) Screening for plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria to promote early soybean growth. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63:1670–1680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen Z, Ma S, Lio L (2008) Studies on phosphorus solubilizing activities of a strain of phosphor-bacteria isolated from chestnut type soil in China. Bioresour Technol 99:6702–6707PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Choudhary M, Patel BA, Meena VS, Yadav RP, Ghasal PC (2017) Seed bio-priming of green gram with Rhizobium and levels of nitrogen and sulphur fertilization under sustainable agriculture. Legume Res LR-3837:1–6Google Scholar
  16. Choudhary M, Panday SC, Meena VS, Singh S, Yadav RP, Mahanta D, Mondal T, Mishra PK, Bisht JK, Pattanayak A (2018) Long-term effects of organic manure and inorganic fertilization on sustainability and chemical soil quality indicators of soybean-wheat cropping system in the Indian mid-Himalayas. Agric Ecosyst Environ 257:38–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cohen AC, Travaglia CN, Bottini R, Piccoli PN (2009) Participation of abscisic acid and gibberellins produced by endophytic Azospirillum in the alleviation of drought effects in maize. Botanique 87:455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Das AJ, Kumar M, Kumar R (2013) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (pgpr): an alternative of chemical fertilizer for sustainable, environment friendly agriculture. Res J Agric For Sci 4:21–23Google Scholar
  19. Dawson JO (2008) Ecology of actinorhizal plants. In: Pawlowski K, Newton WE (eds) Nitrogenfixing actinorhizal symbioses, Nitrogen fixation: origins, applications, and research progress, vol 6. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 199–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. de Salamone IEG, Hynes RK, Nelson LM (2001) Cytokinin production by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and selected mutants. Can J Microbiol 47:404–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dimkpa C, Weinand T, Asch F (2009) Plant-rhizobacteria interactions alleviate abiotic stress conditions. Plant Cell Environ 32:1682–1694PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Duca D, Lorv J, Patten CL, Rose D, Glick BR (2014) Indole-3-acetic acid in plant-microbe interactions. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 106:85–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Etesami HA, Alikhani A, Akbari N (2009) Evaluation of plant growth hormones production (IAA) ability by Iranian soils rhizobial strains and effects of superior strains application on wheat growth indexes. World Appl Sci J 6:1576–1584Google Scholar
  24. Fahad S, Hussain S, Bano A, Saud S, Hassan S, Shan D (2015) Potential role of phytohormones and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in abiotic stresses: consequences for changing environment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:4907–4921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Figueiredo MVB, Seldin L, Araujo FF, Mariano RLR (2011) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: fundamentals and applications. In: Maheshwari DK (ed) Plant growth and health-promoting bacteria. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 21–42Google Scholar
  26. Flores-Felix JD, Menendez E, Rivera LP (2013) Use of rhizobium leguminosarum as a otential biofertilizer for Lactuca sativa and Daucus carota crops. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 176:876–882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Franche C, Lindström K, Elmerich C (2009) Nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with leguminous and non-leguminous plants. Plant Soil 321:35–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gandhi A, Muralidharan G (2016) Assessment of zinc solubilizing potentiality of Acinetobacter sp. isolated from rice rhizosphere. Eur J Soil Biol 76:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Glick BR (2012) Plant growth-promoting bacteria: mechanisms and applications. Scientifica Article ID 963401. Scholar
  30. Gray EJ, Smith DL (2005) Intracellular and extracellular PGPR: commonalities and distinctions in the plant-bacterium signaling processes. Soil Biol Biochem 37:395–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gupta G, Parihar SS, Ahirwar NK, Snehi SK, Singh V (2015) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (pgpr): current and future prospects for the development of sustainable agriculture. J Microb Biochem Technol 7:096–102Google Scholar
  32. Hussain MB, Zahir ZA, Asghar HN, Asghar M (2014) Exopolysaccharidesproducing rhizobia ameliorate drought stress in wheat. Int J Agric Biol 16:3–13Google Scholar
  33. Jat LK, Singh YV, Meena SK, Meena SK, Parihar M, Jatav HS, Meena RK, Meena VS (2015) Does integrated nutrient management enhance agricultural productivity? J Pure Appl Microbiol 9(2):1211–1221Google Scholar
  34. Jha CK, Saraf M (2015) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR): a review. J Agric Res Dev 5:0108–0119Google Scholar
  35. Joo GJ, Kim YM, Kim JT, Rhee IK, Kim JH, Lee IJ (2005) Gibberellins-producing rhizobacteria increase endogenous gibberellins content and promote growth of red peppers. J Microbiol 43:510–515Google Scholar
  36. Kapoor R, Soni R, Kaur M (2016) Gibberellins production by fluorescent ‘Pseudomonas’ isolated from Rhizospheric soil of ‘Malus’ and ‘Pyrus’. Int J Agric Environ Biotechnol 9:193–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kaur H, Kaur J, Gera R (2016) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: a boon to agriculture. Int J Cell Sci Biotechnol 5:17–22Google Scholar
  38. Khan MS, Zaidi A, Ahemad M, Oves M, Wani PA (2010) Plant growth promotion by phosphate solubilizing fungi - current perspective. Arch Agron Soil Sci 56:73–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Khan AL, Waqas M, Kang SM (2014) Bacterial endophyte Sphingomonas sp. LK11 produces gibberellins and IAA and promotes tomato plant growth. J Microbiol 52:689–695PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Khan AL, Halo BA, Elyassi A, Ali S, Al-Hosni K, Hussain J, Al-Harrasi A, Lee IJ (2016) Indole acetic acid and acc deaminase fromendophytic bacteria improves the growth of Solanum lycopersicum. Electron J Biotechnol 21:58–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kollah B, Patra AK, Mohanty SR (2016) Aquatic microphylla Azolla: a perspective paradigm for sustainable agriculture, environment and global climate change. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:4358–4369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kumar A, Meena R, Meena VS, Bisht JK, Pattanayak A (2016) Towards the stress management and environmental sustainability. J Clean Prod 137:821–822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kundan R, Pant G, Jadon N, Agrawal PK (2015) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: mechanism and current prospective. J Fertil Pestic 6:2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Leong J (1986) Siderophores: their biochemistry, and possible role in the biocontrol of Plantpathogens. Annu Rev Phytopathol 24:187–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Liu F, Xing S, Ma H, Du Z, Ma B (2013) Cytokinin producing, plant growthpromoting rhizobacteria that confer resistance to drought stress in Platycladusorientalis container seedlings. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 97:9155–9164PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Masood S, Bano A (2016) Mechanism of potassium solubilization in the agricultural soils by the help of soil microorganisms. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 137–147. Scholar
  47. Mayak S, Tirosh T, Glick BR (1999) Effect of wild-type and mutant plant growth- promoting rhizobacteria on the rooting of mung bean cuttings. J Plant Growth Regul 18:49–53PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Mazid M, Khan TA (2014) Future of bio-fertilizers in Indian agriculture: an overview. Int J Agric Food Res 3(3):10–23Google Scholar
  49. Mitra D, Sharma K, Uniyal N, Chauhan A, Sarkar P (2016) Study on plant hormone (indole-3-acetic acid) producing level and other plant growth promotion ability (pgpa) by Asparagus racemosus rhizobacteria. J Chem Pharm Res 8:995–1002Google Scholar
  50. Mohapatra B, Verma DK, Sen A, Panda BB, Asthie B (2013) Biofertilizers- a gateway of sustainable agriculture. Popular Kheti 1:97–106Google Scholar
  51. Neilands JB (1995) Siderophores: structure and function of microbial iron transport compounds. J Biol Chem 270:26723–26726PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. Noel TC, Sheng C, Yost CK, Pharis RP, Hynes MF (1996) Rhizobium leguminosarum as a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium: direct growth promotion of canola and lettuce. Can J Microbiol 42(3):279–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Noumavo PA, Agbodjato NA, Moussa FB, Adjanohoun A, Moussa LB (2016) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: beneficial effects for healthy and sustainable agriculture. Afr J Biotechnol 15:1452–1463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Panpatte DG, Jhala YK, Shelat HN, Vyas RV (2016) Pseudomonas fluorescens: a promising biocontrol agent and PGPR for sustainable agriculture. In: Microbial inoculants in sustainable agricultural productivity. Springer, New Delhi, pp 257–270. Scholar
  55. Pastor V, Luna E, Mauch-Mani B, Ton J, Flors V (2013) Primed plants do not forget. Environ Exp Bot 94:46–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pereira SIA, Castro PL (2014) Phosphate-solubilizing rhizobacteria enhance Zea mays growth in agricultural P deficient soils. Ecol Eng 73:526–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pieterse CMJ, Zamioudis C, Berendsen RL, Weller DM, Van Wees SCM, Bakker PAHM (2014) Induced systemic resistance by beneficial microbes. Annu Rev Phytopathol 52:347–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Prashar P, Kapoor N, Sachdeva S (2013) Rhizosphere: its structure, bacterial diversity and significance. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 10:1007Google Scholar
  59. Prathap M, Ranjitha Kumari BD (2015) A critical review on plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. J Plant Pathol Microb 6:266. Scholar
  60. Qi J, Aiuchi D, Tani M, Asano S, Koike M (2016) Potential of entomopathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and biological control agents for tomato Fusarium wilt. Int J Environ Agric Res 2(6):55–63Google Scholar
  61. Raghavendra MP, Nayaka NC, Nuthan BR (2016) Role of rhizosphere microflora in potassium solubilization. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 43–59. Scholar
  62. Rawat J, Sanwal P, Saxena J (2016) Potassium and its role in sustainable agriculture. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 235–253. Scholar
  63. Riefler M, Novak O, Strnad M, Schmülling T (2006) Arabidopsis cytokinin receptor mutants reveal functions in shoot growth, leaf senescence, seed size, germination, root development, and cytokinin metabolism. Plant Cell 18:40–54PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Saharan BS, Nehra V (2011) Plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria: a critical review. Life Sci Med Res 21:1–30Google Scholar
  65. Sahgal M, Johri BN (2003) The changing face of rhizobial systematics. Curr Sci 84:43–48Google Scholar
  66. Sang-Mo K, Radhakrishnan R, Khan AL, Min-Ji K, Jae-Man P, Bo-Ra K, Dong-Hyun S, In-Jung L (2014) Gibberellin secreting rhizobacterium, Pseudomonas putida H-2-3 modulates the hormonal and stress physiology of soybean to improve the plant growth under saline and drought conditions. Plant Physiol Biochem 84:115–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Santi C, Bogusz D, Franche C (2013) Biological nitrogen fixation in non-legume plants. Ann Bot 10:1–25Google Scholar
  68. Sharma YT, Rai N (2015) Isolation of plant hormone (indole-3-acetic acid) producing rhizobacteria and study on their effects on tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) seedling. Int J PharmTech Res 7:099–107Google Scholar
  69. Shilev (2013) Soil rhizobacteria regulating the uptake of nutrients and undesirable elements by plants. In: Arora NK (ed) Plant microbe symbiosis: fundamentals and advances. Springer, New Delhi, pp 147–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Shrivastava M, Srivastava PC, D’Souza SF (2016) KSM soil diversity and mineral solubilization, in relation to crop production and molecular mechanism. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 221–234. Scholar
  71. Siddiqui ZA (2006) PGPR: prospective biocontrol agents of plant pathogens. In: Siddiqui ZA (ed) PGPR: biocontrol and biofertilization. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 111–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Silva VN, Silva LESF, Figueiredo MVB (2006) Atuaçäo de rizo’bios com rhizobacteria promotoras de crescimento em plants na culture do caupi (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp). Acta Sci Agron 28:407–412Google Scholar
  73. Singh DP et al (eds) (2016) Microbial inoculants in sustainable agricultural productivity. Springer, New Delhi. Scholar
  74. Sokolova MG, Akimova GP, Vaishlia OB (2011) Effect of phytohormones synthesized by rhizosphere bacteria on plants. Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol 47:302–307PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  75. Spaepen S, Vanderleyden J (2011) Auxin and plant-microbe interactions. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 3:a001438PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Suhag M (2016) Potential of biofertilizers to replace chemical fertilizers. Int Adv Res J Sci Eng Technol 3:163–167Google Scholar
  77. Sundaram VM, Kathiresan D, Eswaran S, Sankaralingam S, Balakan B, Harinathan B (2016) Phosphate solubilization and phytohormones production by rhizosphere microorganisms. Adv Agric Biol 5:5–13Google Scholar
  78. Teotia P, Kumar V, Kumar M, Shrivastava N, Varma A (2016) Rhizosphere microbes: potassium solubilization and crop productivity-present and future aspects. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 315–325. Scholar
  79. Timmusk S, Nicander B, Granhall U, Tillberg E (1999) Cytokinin production by Paenibacillus polymyxa. Soil Biol Biochem 31:1847–1852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Velazquez E, Silva LR, Ramírez-Bahena MH, Peix A (2016) Diversity of potassium-solubilizing microorganisms and their interactions with plants. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 99–110. Scholar
  81. Verma JP, Jaiswal DK, Meena VS, Kumar A, Meena RS (2015) Issues and challenges about sustainable agriculture production for management of natural resources to sustain soil fertility and health. J Clean Prod 107:793–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Vessey JK (2003) Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria as biofertilizers. Plant Soil 255:571–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Vidyalakshmi R, Paranthaman R, Bhakyaraj R (2009) Sulphur oxidizing bacteria and pulse nutrition – a review. World J Agric Sci 5:270–278Google Scholar
  84. Vurukonda SSKP, Vardharajula S, Shrivastava M, Skz A (2016) Enhancement of drought stress tolerance in crops by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. Microbiol Res 184:13–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Yadav BK, Sidhu AS (2016) Dynamics of potassium and their bioavailability for plant nutrition. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing micro- organisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 187–201. Scholar
  86. Yasin M, Munir I, Faisal M (2016) Can Bacillus spp. enhance K+ uptake in crop species. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 163–170. Scholar
  87. Zahedi H (2016) Growth-promoting effect of potassium-solubilizing microorganisms on some crop species. In: Meena VS, Maurya BR, Verma JP, Meena RS (eds) Potassium solubilizing microorganisms for sustainable agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 31–42. Scholar
  88. Zahid M, Abbasi MK, Hameed S, Rahim N (2015) Isolation and identification of indigenous plant growth promoting rhizobacteria from Himalayan region of Kashmir and their effect on improving growth and nutrient contents of maize (Zea mays L.). Front Microbiol 6:207PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Zahir A, Arshad M, Frankenberger WT Jr (2004) Plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria: applications and perspectives in agriculture. Adv Agron 81:97–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Zahir ZA, Munir A, Asghar HN, Shahroona B, Arshad M (2008) Effectiveness ofrhizobacteria containing ACC-deaminase for growth promotion of peas (P.sativum) under drought conditions. J Microbiol Biotechnol 18:958–963PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bansh Narayan Singh
    • 1
  • Mahendra Vikram Singh Rajawat
    • 1
  • Akash Hidangmayum
    • 2
  • Waquar Akhter Ansari
    • 1
  • Devendra Singh
    • 3
  • Mohammad Tarique Zeyad
    • 1
  • Shiv Charan Kumar
    • 1
  • Manish Roy
    • 1
  • Murugan Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important MicroorganismsMaunath BhanjanIndia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of Agricultural SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural UniversitySamastipurIndia

Personalised recommendations