Effect of foliar and soil application of plant growth promoting bacteria on growth, physiology, yield and seed quality of maize under Mediterranean conditions

Efthimiadou, A.; Katsenios, N.; Chanioti, S.; Giannoglou, M.; Djordjevic, N.; Katsaros, G.

Scientific Reports 10(1): 21060


ISSN/ISBN: 2045-2322
PMID: 33273634
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-78034-6
Accession: 071102977

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The use of plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) as biostimulants favors the increase of crop productivity and the improvement of yield quality. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of the PGPB biostimulants (Azotobacter chroococcum, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megatherium and their mixes) and the application method (foliar and soil) on the growth, the physiology, the yield and the quality of maize. The obtained results showed that A. chroococcum treatment increased the chlorophyll content up to 6.1%, the photosynthetic rate up to 18.4% and the transpiration rate up to 34.3%. The highest maize yields were performed by the treatments B. megatherium (244.67 g) and the mix of A. chroococcum and B. subtilis (1:1) (243.67 g) when applied on the soil. The Soil application of the PGPB resulted in increased yield of maize from 5.5 to 13.4% compared to control treatment. Concerning quality characteristics, B. subtilis treatment increased total solids content in harvested maize seeds by 92%, as well as crude fiber content by 46% compared to control. The results confirmed that the use of PGPB could contribute as a new cultivation practice for sustainable growth, productivity and quality of grain crops.