Belowground Microbial Communities: Key Players for Soil and Environmental Sustainability

  • Rama Kant Dubey
  • Vishal Tripathi
  • Ratna Prabha
  • Rajan Chaurasia
  • Dhananjaya Pratap Singh
  • Ch. Srinivasa Rao
  • Ali El-Keblawy
  • Purushothaman Chirakkuzhyil Abhilash
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science book series (BRIEFSENVIRONMENTAL)


One of the key functions of soil microorganisms is to promote plant health and increase soil productivity. Some indigenous microorganisms of contaminated soil systems also have the capability to degrade the soil contaminants, and thus are frequently used in bioremediation purposes. Most of these microbes belong to the category of plant growth-promoting microorganisms, which perform various functions including providing nutrients to the plants, conferring disease resistance, and combating temperature, salinity, and other abiotic stresses. These microbes also support the growth of plants in degraded and contaminated soil systems, aiding phyto-remediation. In coming decades, food security and climate change are expected to be the most serious problems for the planet Earth. Plant growth-promoting microorganisms can provide a sustainable solution to these problems by increasing the production of crop plants, and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thus decreasing agricultural pollution. The enormous diversity of soil microorganisms gives an excellent opportunity for exploring new plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria; however, only 1% of the total soil microorganisms are culturable in nature, so the majority of the promising strains remain unexplored. The advent of the novel ‘omic’ technologies provides an excellent opportunity to harness this potential of the belowground microbial world.


Bioremediation Climate change Food security Stress tolerance Sustainable agriculture Plant growth-promoting microorganisms 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rama Kant Dubey
    • 1
  • Vishal Tripathi
    • 1
  • Ratna Prabha
    • 2
  • Rajan Chaurasia
    • 1
  • Dhananjaya Pratap Singh
    • 3
  • Ch. Srinivasa Rao
    • 4
  • Ali El-Keblawy
    • 5
  • Purushothaman Chirakkuzhyil Abhilash
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environment & Sustainable DevelopmentBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekananda Technical UniversityBhilaiIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important MicroorganismsMau Nath BhanjanIndia
  4. 4.National Academy of Agricultural Research ManagementHyderabadIndia
  5. 5.Department of Applied BiologyUniversity of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates

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