Molecular Plant-Bacteria-Environment Interactions
Biotechnology represents a major sector in the agribusiness and will become crucial in the future considering current world-wide energy and environmental problems. Many agrobiotechnological approaches will deal at obtaining plant varieties resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses, but also with making use of natural biological resources and processes, such as interactions with microbes for plant protection and nutrition. Plant-associated bacteria may be beneficial or pathogenic. Understanding the mechanisms of both types of interactions as well as the subtle differences that determine the different outcomes can be exploited to optimise beneficial interactions as well as to limit the negative effects of pathogens. Likewise, the outcome of plant-bacteria associations depend on the individual capacities of interacting partners and their relationships with the environment. Particularly, beneficial microbes such as rhizobia for legumes, can provide their partners with novel capacities to optimise plant growth and nutrition in constrained, growth-limiting environments. The progressive replacement of agrochemicals with microbial inoculants in agriculture shall certainly contribute to alleviate current energy limitations and environmental pollution while maintaining reasonable crop productivities.
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