Although the successful use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in agriculture has been repeatedly reported in literature, and that PGPR isolated from halophytes have been applied as a stress-mitigation tool in traditional crop vegetables, the use of PGPR in the emergent field of saline agriculture and crop cultivation of halophytes, namely Salicornia species, in essentially unexplored. This project aims at formulating cocktails of autochthonous plant growth promoting rhizobacteria suitable for targeted manipulations of the rhizosphere of the halophyte Salicornia ramosissima, in order to modulate the metabolome of the plant towards the production of high added value metabolites, and to improve stress tolerance in a scenario of global climate change (salinity, temperature flooding) and soil deterioration (pollution and nutrient limitation).
The work plan involves 3 institutions, University of Aveiro (UA), Foundation of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FFC) University of Algarve and collection of plants/rhizosphere sediments in 3 estuarine systems (Ria de Aveiro, Tagus Estuary and Ria Formosa. The analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome of S. ramosissima and the isolation of PGPR will be conducted at UA. PGPR strains and consortia will be tested in inoculation experiments conducted at the 3 partner institutions according to the field of expertise of the researchers than compose the team. The effects of inoculation on plant metabolome will be analyzed by researchers of CESAM and QOPNA research units (UA). FFC researchers will address the effects of rhizosphere manipulation of plant tolerance to environmental stress in the perspective of adaptation to climate change and the protective effect of inoculation on tolerance to multistress, namely pollution and aridity, will be assessed in experiments conducted at UAlg.
The results will contribute to an innovative microbe-assisted crop cultivation approach of Salicornia, based on the use of autochthonous PGPR to specifically improve valuable plant traits or mitigate stress under ecosystem-specific conditions.
Este projeto visa a formulação de consórcios de rizobactérias autóctones promotoras de crescimento de plantas (PGPR), adequados a manipulações da rizosfera da halófita Salicornia ramosissima, com o objectivo de modular o metaboloma da planta e melhorar a sua tolerância a stresse, num cenário de alterações climáticas globais e deterioração ambiental. O plano de trabalho envolve 3 instituições: Universidade de Aveiro (UA), Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FFC) e Universidade do Algarve. A UA é responsável pela caracterização do microbioma da rizosfera de S. ramosissima, pelo isolamento de PGPR e pela e avaliação o efeito da inoculação no metaboloma da planta. O efeito de consórcios de PGPR na tolerância ao stresse ambiental, a poluentes e a condições multi-stresse será avaliado pelas equipas da FFC e da UAlg, respetivamente.