Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) provide necessary nutrients to the plants and are promising substitute for the chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth and yield. Among various growth promotion properties of PGPR, the ability to fix N2 is important for plant growth. Several media-based techniques are available to screen the N2 fixing bacteria that are tedious, time-consuming and requires significant amount of resources. Therefore, a rapid, cost-effective membrane-based sensor can be a good alternative of these media-based screening methods. Further, a reservoir of diverse microbial communities is present in a unique extreme environment - saline and alkaline lime in Janikowo, Poland. Isolating PGPR from such extreme environments can be useful for mitigating salinity stress on different crops e.g. wheat (Triticum aestivum), which is one of the most important crops in the world facing significant yield loss in the production due to soil salinity. Also, the study of expression of genes that are differentially expressed in wheat upon interaction with PGPR can result in a better understanding of plant-microbe interaction. Hence, the work is proposed in a sequential manner where the membrane-sensor will be prepared to screen N2 fixing bacteria from the samples collected from extreme environments and allowed to interact with wheat plant under saline condition to check its growth promotion effects. Then the most effective strains/consortia for growth promotion will be selected. Finally, Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) will be performed to study differentially expressed genes in wheat plants upon interaction with selected strains/consortia. The project is expected to develop innovative membrane-based sensor for the detection of N2 fixing bacteria and isolation of novel and potential halotolerant PGPR from anthropogenic extreme environments. SSH based gene profiling study will also be a new approach to understand plant-PGPR interaction.
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