Influence of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on growth of tomato raised in pro trays
Tomato is the second most important vegetable crop after potato in the world and India contributes significantly to the global tomato production. In the current scenario, limited availability of agricultural land and excessive use of chemical fertilizers pose an immediate threat to the environment. In the long run these will in turn lead to deficit of agricultural produce that would be insufficient to feed the whole world. Resorting to sustainable agricultural methods is a possible solution with the use of beneficial microbes like plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) instead of chemicals. In this study six different PGPR were inoculated into pro trays to analyze their role on the growth of tomato seedlings. The different PGPR used were, Paenibacillus polymyxa, Pantoea agglomerans, Azospirillum brasiliense, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Exiguobacterium acetylicum. Each of them were separately used to inoculate the tomato seeds sown in pro trays under poly house conditions. The results showed that various growth parameters like germination percentage, bio volume index, seedling vigour index, plant strength, and plant parameters like plant height, root length, seedling length, stem girth, fresh weight, dry weight, of PGPR inoculated tomato plants were significantly higher than that of uninoculated control plants. Also Paenibacillus polymyxa proved to be the most effective PGPR in enhancing the various plant and growth parameters of tomato plants. The results of pro tray technology involving inoculation with PGPR, after validating under field conditions, can further be used to develop a novel PGPR based bioinoculant and biofertilizer, that can create path-breaking developments in the field of nursery technology and sustainable agriculture.
Keywords: sustainable agriculture, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, bioinoculants, biofertilizers, nursery technology, pro tray technique