Insights on plant–microbe interactions in soil in relation to iron dynamics

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Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00467-3
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Keywords: Iron acquisition, Iron deficiency, PGPR, Phytohormones, Plant, Rhizosphere, Siderophores


Iron is an essential micronutrient for plant growth involved in vital processes like photosynthesis, cellular respiration, chlorophyll synthesis, etc. Although Fe is abundant in the earth crust, its bioavailability is limited. Fe deficiency is a significant problem in cultivated soils worldwide, more severe in well aerated alkaline soils. Hence, plants have evolved different strategies for efficient iron uptake from soil. On the basis of these strategies, plants are classified as strategy I plants (non-graminaceous monocots and dicots) which use reduction based approach and strategy II plants (grasses) which use chelation based approach mediated by siderophores. However, these strategies alone are not adequate to meet the iron demand of plants. Thus, plants interact with rhizosphere microflora to mitigate this abiotic stress. These microorganisms contribute to iron acquisition in plants by diverse mechanisms like secretion of siderophores, organic acids, protons and plant hormones. The genes involved in the plant’s iron physiology are also modulated in the presence of rhizospheric bacteria. The exact pathway underlying the role of all these microbial products in plant-iron acquisition is not clear. The present review recapitulates the current knowledge about the iron status in soil in the form of various minerals (hematite, pyrites, sulfides etc.), soluble form or organic matter bound form. The importance of iron for plant and rhizosphere bacteria along with the plant-microbes interaction in relation to iron dynamics and microorganisms involved in plant iron uptake with various mechanisms opted by plants and microbes for acquiring iron are analysed. The research gaps and the involvement of advance technologies for better understanding in the field are also discussed.

Iron acquisition, Iron deficiency, PGPR, Phytohormones, Plant, Rhizosphere, Siderophores


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Author Information

Dhankhar Rakhi
Department of Microbiology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India

Gupta Shefali
Department of Industrial Microbiology, Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHUATS), Allahabad, India

Gulati Pooja
Department of Microbiology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India