Biofilmed biofertilizers induce drought tolerance of rice

Gamini Seneviratne, Kankanthri Nirodha Weeraratne

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Water stress under a drought condition is a drawback for optimum plant growth and grain production of some high yielding rice varieties. Improving plant’s drought resistance through selective breeding as well as different methods of alleviating drought stress from the exterior is in practice and in research. Biological methods which warrant the use of soil microbes have proven effectiveness. Following the studies on the ability of PGPR to induce tolerance to drought, a biofilmed biofertilizer (BFBF) which has shown effective for overall crop growth and production of rice was tested for its ability to improve drought tolerance of rice crop. Two drought tolerant varieties DSN 22, DSN 56 and two drought susceptible varieties BG352 and AT 307 were grown in soil pots, applied with the recommended fertilizer amount in order to nullify any effect from nutrition stress. Treatments were with or without BFBF for all 4 varieties. Drought was induced by cessation of watering for 6 days during vegetative and reproductive phases. Seedling growth and plant root growth were significantly improved by BFBFs application. Leaf drying and leaf rolling were reduced in all four varieties with BFBFs. BFBF helped AT 307: heat tolerant, drought susceptible, high yielding variety, to overcome drought stress at vegetative phase. The water retention activity in the rhizosphere of rice plants could be attributed to the high exopolymeric substance (EPS) content of BFBF over the single cell cultures, as measured by congo red indicator absorption. Studies have shown the role of EPS and the water retention capacity of soil. However, further studies are required under field conditions to improve the drought tolerance of high yielding drought susceptible varieties such as AT 307, by using BFBFs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInterdrought IV Conference - Perth, Australia
Duration: 01 Sep 201305 Sep 2013


ConferenceInterdrought IV Conference


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