Title : The potential of beneficial microorganisms with the interaction with halophytes in desert and/or arid saline areas
Abiotic factors such as salinity, drought, high and low temperatures and heavy metal toxicity reduce crop productivity. Climate change increases the frequency and severity of these abiotic factors. Mainly, high temperatures and low precipitation cause droughts of increasing severity. Recent estimates report that abiotic stress accounts for the loss of 50% of crop production. The salinity has led to a 1–2% annual decline in arable land. Arid and semi-arid zones are the areas most affected by drought and salinity, two types of abiotic stress closely related to each other. Salinization is the increase in the concentration of soluble ions such as Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+ as a result of low precipitation and high temperatures. Agricultural activities promote the salinization of soils through irrigation with poor-quality water, inadequate farming systems and excess use of conventional mineral fertilizers and pesticides, all of which ultimately reduce soil fertility and quality. Drought influences crop yields as low water availability adversely affects the photosynthetic rate, nutrient uptake and metabolic processes in plants. Facing these issues, several studies have been carried out through different approaches, including the search for new techniques in traditional agriculture, new plant varieties, genetic engineering and the use of biostimulants, with the aim of reducing crop yield losses caused by abiotic factors. Efforts made as part of traditional agriculture and genetic engineering to develop plants resistant to salinity and desiccation are complex because these stressors affect several physiological aspects of the plant and require many years of study. By contrast, biostimulants have shown positive effects on plants to improve tolerance to abiotic stress.This presentation will be focusing on the potential of Halobacteria can increase the yield of crops grown under these types of stress. These bacteria thrive across a wide salinity range (1–25% NaCl) and also in the absence of NaCl and have direct and indirect mechanisms that promote plant growth with halophytes for food, fodder and biofuels production, as well as their impacts on the environment and societies.