Effect of exo-polysaccharides producing bacterial inoculation on growth of roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants grown in a salt-affected soil
Abstract: Effect of soil salinity on physico-chemical and biological properties renders the salt-affected soils unsuitable for soil microbial processes and growth of the crop plants. Soil aggregation around roots of the plants is a function of the bacterial exo-polysaccharides (EPS), however, such a role of the EPS-producing bacteria in the saline environments has rarely been investigated. Pot experiments were conducted to observe the effects of inoculating six strains of EPS-producing bacteria on growth of primary (seminal) roots and its relationship with saccharides, cations (Ca2+, Na+, K+) contents and mass of rhizosheath soils of roots of the wheat plants grown in a salt-affected soil. A strong positive relationship of RS with different root growth parameters indicated that an integrated influence of various biotic and abiotic RS factors would have controlled and promoted growth of roots of the inoculated wheat plants. The increase in root growth in turn could help inoculated wheat plants to withstand the negative effects of soil salinity through an enhanced soil water uptake, a restricted Na+ influx in the plants and the accelerated soil microbial process involved in cycling and availability of the soil nutrients to the plants. It was concluded that inoculation of the EPS-producing would be a valuable tool for amelioration and increasing crop productivity of the salt-affected soils.