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Bacterial Inoculants for Creating Salt Tolerant Crop Plants

ID: 2019-022 Two isolates were used to inoculate alfalfa resulting in significant enhancement of plant growth in the presence of salt.

Principal Investigator: Brent Nielsen

Researchers at BYU have identified and characterized plant growth promotion activity of two isolates (Halomonas and Bacillus).

Using either of these isolates to inoculate alfalfa resulted in significant enhancement of plant growth in the presence of salt.

Soil salinity is becoming a common challenge in many agricultural areas due to drought combined with poor irrigation practices. Most crop plants are sensitive to salt, which leads to reductions in production. With the increasing food demand and degradation of agricultural land, the development of crop plants that are able to adapt and grow sustainably under changing environmental stresses is of urgent importance. The results of the ongoing research undertaken at BYU have a significant impact on efforts to identify bacteria that stimulate growth of plant species under a variety of stress conditions. Although the initial research was focused on alfalfa, similar stimulation of plant growth in salty conditions has been observed with rice, Bermuda grass, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Key Advantages

  • Enhanced growth of crop plants in salty soil
  • Reduced plant uptake of sodium ions from the soil
  • Increased photosynthesis

This invention would be of particular interest to agricultural companies, agricultural research institutions and affiliated governmental agencies.

For more information, contact Mike Alder (801-422-3049)

Links and Resources

  1. One Page Summary PDF
  2. Inventor Webpage - Brent Nielsen
  3. The Nielsen Laboratory Webpage