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Journal of soil science and plant nutrition

On-line version ISSN 0718-9516


ETESAMI, H.; EMAMI, S.  and  ALIKHANI, H. A.. Potassium solubilizing bacteria (KSB):: Mechanisms, promotion of plant growth, and future prospects ­ A review. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2017, vol.17, n.4, pp.897-911. ISSN 0718-9516.

Potassium (K) is considered as an essential nutrient and a major constituent within all living cells. Naturally, soils contain K in larger amounts than any other nutrients; however most of the K is unavailable for plant uptake. Application of chemical fertilizers has a considerably negative impact on environmental sustainability. It is known that potassium solubilizing bacteria (KSB) can solubilize K-bearing minerals and convert the insoluble K to soluble forms of K available to plant uptake. Many bacteria such as Acidothiobacillus ferrooxidans, Paenibacillus spp., Bacillus mucilaginosus, B. edaphicus, and B. circulans have capacity to solubilize K minerals (e.g., biotite, feldspar, illite, muscovite, orthoclase, and mica). KSB are usually present in all soils, although their number, diversity and ability for K solubilization vary depending upon the soil and climatic conditions. KSB can dissolve silicate minerals and release K through the production of organic and inorganic acids, acidolysis, polysaccharides, complexolysis, chelation, and exchange reactions. Hence, the production and management of biological fertilizers containing KSB can be an effective alternative to chemical fertilizers. This article presents an overview of current trends and challenges on KSB, mechanisms and their role in plant growth promotion, and eventually gives some perspectives for research on K in agriculture.

Keywords : Bio-fertilizer; potassium bearing minerals; potassium solubilization; plant and bacteria interactions; PGPRs.

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