Commodity crops, such as wheat and maize, are extremely dependent on chemical fertilizers, a practice contributing greatly to the increase in the contaminants in soil and water. Promising solutions are biofertilizers, i.e., microbial biostimulants that when supplemented with soil stimulate plant growth and production. Moreover, the biofertilizers can be fortified when (i) provided as multifunctional consortia and (ii) combined with biochar with a high cargo capacity. The aim of this work was to determine the molecular effects on the soil microbiome of different biofertilizers and delivery systems, highlight their physiological effects and merge the data with statistical analyses. The measurements of the physiological parameters (i.e., shoot and root biomass), transcriptomic response of genes involved in essential pathways, and characterization of the rhizosphere population were analyzed. The results demonstrated that wheat and maize supplemented with different combinations of selected microbial consortia and biochar have a positive effect on plant growth in terms of shoot and root biomass; the treatments also had a beneficial influence on the biodiversity of the indigenous rhizomicrobial community, reinforcing the connection between microbes and plants without further spreading contaminants. There was also evidence at the transcriptional level of crosstalk between microbiota and plants.
A Metagenomic and Gene Expression Analysis in Wheat (T. durum) and Maize (Z. mays) Biofertilized with PGPM and Biochar / Graziano, Sara; Caldara, Marina; Gulli', Mariolina; Bevivino, Annamaria; Maestri, Elena; Marmiroli, Nelson. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. - ISSN 1422-0067. - 23:18(2022), pp. 10376.1-10376.23. [10.3390/ijms231810376]