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Trends Biotechnol. 2009 Oct;27(10):591-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

Exploiting plant-microbe partnerships to improve biomass production and remediation.

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Hasselt University, Department of Environmental Biology, CMK, Universitaire Campus building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.


Although many plant-associated bacteria have beneficial effects on their host, their importance during plant growth and development is still underestimated. A better understanding of their plant growth-promoting mechanisms could be exploited for sustainable growth of food and feed crops, biomass for biofuel production and feedstocks for industrial processes. Such plant growth-promoting mechanisms might facilitate higher production of energy crops in a more sustainable manner, even on marginal land, and thus contribute to avoiding conflicts between food and energy production. Furthermore, because many bacteria show a natural capacity to cope with contaminants, they could be exploited to improve the efficiency of phytoremediation or to protect the food chain by reducing levels of agrochemicals in food crops.

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