Journal article

Associative interplay of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS40) with nitrogen fertilizers improves sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) productivity and fertility of aridisol

The environmental and economic impacts of chemical fertilizer have encouraged farmers to integrate them with organic materials, an important nutrient management strategy for sustainable agriculture production. In the present study, we conducted field experiments to study the effects of nitrogen enriched compost (NEC) and mineral nitrogen (MN) fertilizer with a selected plant growth promoting rhizobacterial (PGPR) strain, Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS40, on productivity of sunflower and soil fertility. The results demonstrated that integrated application of PGPR with organic-inorganic N significantly increased shoot and root length, leaf area, total chlorophyll, head diameter, fresh biomass, straw-achene yield and N uptake in sunflower compared to unamended control and PGPR alone. The results also showed that integrated N biofertilizer regime enhanced soil microbial biomass, enzymatic activities and soil nitrogen contents. We also observed significant changes in rhizosphere soil pH, abundance of cultivable bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi (AMF) root colonization. Treatment and year interaction was significant for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) only. These results suggest that the efficiency of PGPR could be improved with increased availability of labile C substrate resource in NEC amended aridisol. We conclude that the application of NEC fertilizer with efficient PGPR biofertilizer may improve sunflower productivity and soil chemical and biological fertility in nutrient-poor agroecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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