RHIZOBACTERIAL INOCULATION INTEGRATED WITH MINERAL FERTILIZERS PROMOTE MAIZE PRODUCTIVITY IN COMPACTED SALINE-SODIC SOIL
In the plants ethylene level increases due to stress imposed by soil salinity and sodicity and soil compaction, which exert negative effects on the crops productivity. There are certain rhizobacteria containing an enzyme, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase which converts 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) (immediate precursor of ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants) into ammonia and α-ketobutyrate instead of ethylene. Reduced ethylene concentration grants resistance to plants against stress conditions. In the present study two rhizobacterial strains were applied in combination with mineral fertilizers which produced significant improvement in maize productivity under multiple stress conditions i.e., saline-sodic and compacted soil. It was observed that rhizobacterial strains increased plant height, cob length, number of cobs per plant, number of grain rows per cob, number of grains per cob, 1000-grain weight, grain yield, stalk yield, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentration in grains and N, P and K contents in stalk up to 27.79, 72.79, 1100, 88.88, 827.27, 327.53, 112.93, 29.38, 254, 38.93, 82.5, 635, 108.88 and 107.35%, respectively as compared to the control, when applied with mineral fertilizers. In conclusion, rhizobacteria possessing ACC-deaminase have the potential to improve maize productivity when applied in combination with mineral fertilizers in multiple stress conditions.