Sustainable Utilization of Fungi in Agriculture and Industry

Plant Growth-promoting Fungi: Mechanisms and Applications

Author(s): S. Sreedevi*, P. Padmalatha and Anjana Shukla

Pp: 99-122 (24)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815040340122020011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Soil is one of the main habitats of fungi and bacteria, and their interactions with the host plant help and promote plant growth and productivity in agriculture. Agronomists and environmentalists are focussing on sustainably managing the agroecosystem by using plant growth-promoting microbes (PGPM). They include bacteria called plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and fungi referred to as plant growth-promoting fungi (PGPF). Plant growth-promoting fungi (PGPF) are nonpathogenic soil-borne fungi that establish a positive interaction with plants in the rhizosphere. PGPF can improve crop productivity by improving seed germination vigour root and shoot morphogenesis, and flowering through direct or indirect mechanisms, which include solubilizing nutrients, regulating hormones, producing enzymes, organic compounds, resistance to abiotic stress, and suppressing phytopathogens. The utilization of PGPF can be considered an eco-friendly method of improving crop production. The potential effective microbes may also be added in the form of biopesticides and biofertilizers promoting the growth of plants. The use of new biotechnological tools to aid genetic engineering of the PGPF has resulted in genetic transformation and overexpression of synergistic action of one or more traits, which could enhance plant growth, confer improved crop benefits, and produce sustainable yield. The chapter describes the diversity of PGPF found in the soil and their role in promoting plant growth and yield. The chapter also discusses the various mechanisms of PGPF interactions with plants and their beneficial roles in promoting crop productivity leading to sustainable agriculture. 

Keywords: Biofertilizers, Crop Yield and Productivity, Soil Fungi, Sustainable Agriculture.

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