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Review: Endophytic microbes and their potential applications in crop management

June 22, 2019

Endophytes are microbes (mostly bacteria and fungi) present in plants. Endophytic microbes are often functional in that they may carry nutrients from the soil into plants, modulate plant development, increase stress tolerance of plants, suppress virulence in pathogens, increase disease resistance in plants, and suppress development of competitor plant species. Endophytic microbes have been shown: 1) obtain nutrients in soils and transfer nutrients to plants in the rhizophagy cycle and other nutrient‐transfer symbioses; 2) increase plant growth and development; 3) reduce oxidative stress of hosts; 4) protect plants from disease; 5) deter feeding by herbivores; and 6) suppress growth of competitor plant species. Because of the effective functions of endophytic microbes, we suggest that endophytic microbes may significantly reduce use of agrochemicals (fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides) in the cultivation of crop plants. The loss of endophytic microbes from crop plants during domestication and long‐term cultivation could be remedied by transfer of endophytes from wild relatives of crops to crop species. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could reduce the efficiency of the rhizophagy cycle due to repression of reactive oxygen used to extract nutrients from microbes in roots.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Review: Endophytic microbes and their potential applications in crop management
DOI 10.1002/ps.5527
Authors James F. White, Kathryn L. Kingsley, Matthew T. Elmore, Satish Kumar Verma, Surendra K Gond, Kurt P. Kowalski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pest Management Science
Series Number
Index ID 70204158
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center