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Climate change has exacerbated the effects of abiotic stresses on plant growth and productivity. Drought is one of the most important abiotic stress factors that interfere with plant growth and development. Plant selection and breeding as well as genetic engineering methods used to improve crop drought tolerance are expensive and time consuming. Plants use a myriad of adaptative mechanisms to cope with the adverse effects of drought stress including the association with beneficial microorganisms such as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Inoculation of plant roots with different PGPR species has been shown to promote drought tolerance through a variety of interconnected physiological, biochemical, molecular, nutritional, metabolic, and cellular processes, which include enhanced plant growth, root elongation, phytohormone production or inhibition, and production of volatile organic compounds. Therefore, plant colonization by PGPR is an eco-friendly agricultural method to improve plant growth and productivity. Notably, the processes regulated and enhanced by PGPR can promote plant growth as well as enhance drought tolerance. This review addresses the current knowledge on how drought stress affects plant growth and development and describes how PGPR can trigger plant drought stress responses at the physiological, morphological, and molecular levels. © 2023. BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.


Maha Chieb, Emma W Gachomo. The role of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in plant drought stress responses. BMC plant biology. 2023 Aug 25;23(1):407

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PMID: 37626328

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