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New strategies to mitigate salt stress

Salinisation in Europe affects approximately 3.8 million hectares.  In Spain, 18 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of irrigated land are severely affected (abandoned) or at high risk, which significantly reduces their potential agricultural. Soil salinisation is a frequent problem in arid and semi-arid regions, such as south-eastern Spain.  In these areas, the demand for water for agriculture, the increasing frequency of drought events and the excessive use of chemical fertilisers have led farmers to irrigate with poor quality water.  This has led to soil degradation and salinisation processes, limiting crop growth and impairing productive capacity (FAO, 2015). Although several saline soil reclamation practices exist, most of them are expensive and not very effective.  This makes salinity control a challenging task.  The rhizosphere microbiome plays a very important role in plant development, with various strategies that help plants cope with different types of biotic (pathogens, herbivores, etc.) and abiotic (salinity, drought, temperature extremes or heavy metal toxicity) stresses. Under salinity conditions the protective effect of the microbiome is to reduce the production of ethylene, which is mainly recognised as a key regulator in the response of plants to biotic or abiotic stress. There are PGPR (plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria) microorganisms that help plants to reduce ethylene concentrations through the action of ACC deaminase, which breaks down the compound 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the precursor responsible for ethylene formation.  In addition to ACC deaminase, phytohormones such as auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins produced by the component PGPRs of BACNIFOS® are crucial for inducing salt stress tolerance. Another measure that favours the reduction of salts in the soil is the application of calcium. Calcium displaces the Na cation from the exchange complex, leaving it as a free ion in the medium where it can be leached by the irrigation water. Once the Na cation has been displaced from the exchange complex, with the help of the polyhydroxycarboxylic acids and the irrigation water, the sodium particles are leached into the deeper parts of the soil where the roots cannot reach them, thus preventing damage. TRICHODEX® has developed an effective and sustainable combined strategy that allows the plant to tolerate high levels of salts.  The combination of BACNIFOS®️, a product based on PGPR bacteria highly effective in the formation of ACC deaminase (stress mitigators) and DESTROY SALT®️, a calcium-based desalinator complexed with organic acids and lignosulphonates, reduces the damage caused by excess salts in the soil.  The application of BACNIFOS®️ + DESTROY SALT®️  in a pepper trial with severe salt stress (22 days under severe stress conditions), improves plant tolerance to this stress, increasing leaf biomass by 46.5% compared to the control under salt stress, thus improving the physiological state of the plant under stress. In terms of visual evaluation of the roots, a greater rhizospheric stimulation was observed in those plants treated with BACNIFOS®️ + DESTROY SALT with salt stress compared to the control with stress (see photos). References 
  • FAO .http://www.fao.org/3/a-bc600e.pdf
  • Mi-Seon Hahm, Jin-Soo Son, Ye-Ji Hwang, Duk-Ki Kwon and Sa-Youl Ghim. 2017 Alleviation of Salt Stress in Pepper (Capsicum annum L.) Plants by Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria , JMB , DOI: 10.4014/jmb.1609.09042
  • Subramanian P, Kim K, Krishnamoorthy R, Mageswari A, Selvakumar G, Sa T. 2016 Cold Stress Tolerance in Psychrotolerant Soil Bacteria and Their Conferred Chilling Resistance in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.) under Low Temperatures. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0161592. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161592

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