Plant-Microbe Interactions and Water Management in Arid and Saline Soils
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AbstractDrought and salinity are major factors limiting agriculture in many regions in the world, and their importance is predicted to even increase in the near future in parallel with the ongoing global warming and climate changes. Soil and rhizosphere microbes are potential resources for counteracting such abiotic stresses in plants. The knowledge on the roles of root microorganisms in retaining soil humidity and promoting plant growth under such abiotic stresses is analyzed in this chapter. The importance of microbial diversity in the rhizosphere for alleviating drought and salinity effects on the plant physiology is discussed in the light of “Desert Farming”, the general crop management practice that is frequently used in arid regions. The plant growth promoting functional services exerted by microorganisms within the rhizosphere in arid soils are presented in relation to the plant response under water stress.