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J Appl Microbiol. 2010 Jul;109(1):1-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04654.x. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

Mineral phosphate solubilization by rhizosphere bacteria and scope for manipulation of the direct oxidation pathway involving glucose dehydrogenase.

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Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Central University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Microbial biodiversity in the soil plays a significant role in metabolism of complex molecules, helps in plant nutrition and offers countless new genes, biochemical pathways, antibiotics and other metabolites, useful molecules for agronomic productivity. Phosphorus being the second most important macro-nutrient required by the plants, next to nitrogen, its availability in soluble form in the soils is of great importance in agriculture. Microbes present in the soil employ different strategies to make use of unavailable forms of phosphate and in turn also help plants making phosphate available for plant use. Azotobacter, a free-living nitrogen fixer, is known to increase the fertility of the soil and in turn the productivity of different crops. The glucose dehydrogenase gene, the first enzyme in the direct oxidation pathway, contributes significantly to mineral phosphate solubilization ability in several Gram-negative bacteria. It is possible to enhance further the biofertilizer potential of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria by introducing the genes involved mineral phosphate solubilization without affecting their ability to fix nitrogen or produce phytohormones for dual benefit to agricultural crops. Glucose dehydrogenases from Gram-negative bacteria can be engineered to improve their ability to use different substrates, function at higher temperatures and EDTA tolerance, etc., through site-directed mutagenesis.

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