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Effect of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria at Various Nitrogen Rates on Corn Growth

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonize plant roots and promote plant growth by producing and secreting various chemical regulators in the rhizosphere. With the recent interest in sustainable agriculture, an increasing number of researchers are investigating ways to improve the efficiency of PGPR use to reduce chemical fertilizer inputs needed for crop production. Accordingly, greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the impact of PGPR inoculants on biomass production and nitrogen (N) content of corn (Zea mays L.) under different N levels. Treatments included three PGPR inoculants (two mixtures of PGPR strains and one control without PGPR) and five N application levels (0 , 25 , 50 , 75 , and 100 of the recommended N rate of 135 kg N ha−1). Results showed that inoculation of PGPR significantly increased plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, and root morphology of corn compared to no PGPR application under the same N levels at the V6 growth stage, but few differences were observed at the V4 stage. PGPR with 50 of the full N rate produced corn biomass and N concentrations equivalent to or greater than that of the full N rate without inoculants at the VT stage. In conclusion, mixtures of PGPR can potentially reduce inorganic N fertilization without affecting corn plant growth parameters. Future research is needed under field conditions to determine if these PGPR inoculants can be integrated as a bio-fertilizer in crop production nutrient management strategies.

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