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Salinity is a major abiotic stress that can adversely affect plant growth, yield, other physiological parameters, and soil health. Salinity stress on biomass production of salt-sensitive crops, like snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), is a serious problem, and specifically in South Florida, USA, where saline soils can be found in major agricultural lands. Research studies focused on the ‘snap bean–Rhizobium–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)’ relationship under salinity stress are limited, and fewer studies have evaluated how this tripartite symbiosis affects glomalin production (GRSP), a glycoprotein released by AMF. A shade house experiment was conducted to elucidate the effects of three microbial inoculations (IC = inoculation control; IT1 = AMF and IT2 = AMF + Rhizobium) on three salinity treatments (SC = salinity control 0.6 dS m−1, S1 = 1.0 dS m−1, and S2 = 2.0 dS m−1) on snap bean growth and yield. Our results indicate that S2 reduced 20% bean biomass production, 11% plant height, 13% root weight, and 23% AMF root colonization. However, microbial inoculations increased 26% bean yield over different salinity treatments. Maximum salinity stress (S2) increased 6% and 18% GRSP production than S1 and SC, respectively, indicating the relative advantage of abiotic stress on AMF’s role in soil. Dual inoculation (IT2) demonstrated a beneficial role on all physiological parameters, biomass production, and GRSP synthesis compared to single inoculation (IT1) treatment with all three salinity levels.


Originally published in Agronomy.

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