Use of Microbial Biostimulants to Increase the Salinity Tolerance of Vegetable Transplants

Alessandro Miceli, Alessandra Moncada, Filippo Vetrano
2021 Agronomy  
Vegetable plants are more sensitive to salt stress during the early growth stages; hence, the availability of poor-quality brackish water can be a big issue for the nursery vegetable industry. Microbial biostimulants promote growth and vigor and counterbalance salt stress in mature plants. This study aimed to evaluate the application of plant growth-promoting microorganisms for improving salt tolerance of lettuce and tomato seedlings irrigated with different water salinity levels (0, 25, and 50
more » ... mM NaCl) during nursery growth. Two commercial microbial biostimulants were applied to the substrate before seeding: 1.5 g L−1 of TNC BactorrS13 containing 1.3 × 108 CFU g−1 of Bacillus spp.; 0.75 g L−1 of Flortis Micorrize containing 30% of Glomus spp., 1.24 × 108 CFU g−1 of Agrobacterium radiobacter, Bacillus subtilis, Streptomyces spp. and 3 × 105 CFU g−1 of Thricoderma spp. Many morpho-physiological parameters of lettuce and tomato seedlings suffered the negative effect of salinity. The use of the microbial biostimulants modified seedling growth and its response to salt stress. They had a growth-promoting effect on the unstressed seedlings increasing fresh and dry biomass accumulation, leaf number, and leaf area and were successful in increasing salinity tolerance of seedlings especially when using Flortis Micorizze that enhanced salinity tolerance up to 50 mM NaCl. The inoculation of the substrate with microbial biostimulants could represent a sustainable way to improve lettuce and tomato transplant quality and to use brackish water in vegetable nurseries limiting its negative effect on seedling growth.
doi:10.3390/agronomy11061143 fatcat:qxo5nly76bh5logyehvn4yiwz4