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Keywords:

  • Azospirillum;
  • rhizosphere;
  • indole-3-acetic acid;
  • polyhydroxyalkanoate;
  • nitric oxide;
  • phenotypic variation

Abstract

Azospirillum brasilense is a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) that is being increasingly used in agriculture in a commercial scale. Recent research has elucidated key properties of A. brasilense that contribute to its ability to adapt to the rhizosphere habitat and to promote plant growth. They include synthesis of the auxin indole-3-acetic acid, nitric oxide, carotenoids, and a range of cell surface components as well as the ability to undergo phenotypic variation. Storage and utilization of polybetahydroxyalkanoate polymers are important for the shelf life of the bacteria in production of inoculants, products containing bacterial cells in a suitable carrier for agricultural use. Azospirillum brasilense is able to fix nitrogen, but despite some controversy, as judging from most systems evaluated so far, contribution of fixed nitrogen by this bacterium does not seem to play a major role in plant growth promotion. In this review, we focus on recent advances in the understanding of physiological properties of Abrasilense that are important for rhizosphere performance and successful interactions with plant roots.