Pathogen Biocontrol Using Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPR): Role of Bacterial Diversity

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32 Citations (Scopus)


A vast microbial community inhabits in the rhizosphere, among which, specialized bacteria known as Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) confer benefits to host plants including growth promotion and disease suppression. PGPR taxa vary in the ways whereby they curtail the negative effects of invading plant pathogens. However, a cumulative or synergistic effect does not always ensue when a bacterial consortium is used. In this review, we reassess the disease-suppressive mechanisms of PGPR and present explanations and illustrations for functional diversity and/or stability among PGPR taxa regarding these mechanisms. We also provide evidence of benefits when PGPR mixtures, rather than individuals, are used for protecting crops from various diseases, and underscore the critical determinant factors for successful use of PGPR mixtures. Then, we evaluate the challenges of and limitations to achieving the desired outcomes from strain/species-rich bacterial assemblages, particularly in relation to their role for plant disease management. In addition, towards locating additive or synergistic outcomes, we highlight why and how the benefits conferred need to be categorized and quantified when different strains/species of PGPR are used in combinations. Finally, we highlight the critical approaches needed for developing PGPR mixtures with improved efficacy and stability as biocontrols for utilization in agricultural fields.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1988
Number of pages18
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2021


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