A Rutgers study reveals that the symbiotic bacteria that colonize root cells can be managed to produce more resistant crops that require less fertilizer.
The study appears in the journal Microorganisms.
Bacteria stimulate the growth of root hairs in all the plants that form root hairs, so the researchers looked at the chemical interactions between bacteria inside the root cells and the root cell.
They found that the bacteria are carried in the seeds and taken up by the soil, then introduced into the root cells where the bacteria produce ethylene, a plant growth hormone that causes hairs to grow from the roots to the root cells. . As the root hairs grow, they eject some of the bacteria into the soil, then the bacteria remaining in the root hairs replicate and trigger a growth spurt every 15 minutes until the hairs are fully developed.
Ethylene is also a stress hormone that causes plants to adapt and become more resistant to oxidative stresses, including heat, soil salt, heavy metals, and stresses potentially caused by climate change.
Researchers found that ethylene causes root cells to secrete superoxide on bacteria in root cells, which causes bacteria to produce nitric oxide which detoxifies superoxide. Nitric oxide combines with superoxide to form nitrate which is taken up by root cells. In this process, the bacteria present in the root cells grow the root hairs and supply the root cells with nitrogen and other nutrients.
“This is important because it shows that the plant microbiome is important for the development of plant cells, especially the development of root cells and the supply of nutrients,” said study co-author James White, professor. in the Department of Plant Biology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Using bacteria in plants can allow us to grow better developed, stress-resistant crops that require less fertilizer, and thus reduce environmental damage from excessive fertilizer applications with consequent runoff. , with the good bacteria in cultivated plants, we can produce crops that are resistant to oxidative stress resulting from climatic disturbances, so we could produce more resilient and resilient crops. “
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