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N Biotechnol. 2013 Sep 25;30(6):695-704. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 Apr 28.

Inoculation with microorganisms of Lolium perenne L.: evaluation of plant growth parameters and endophytic colonization of roots.

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Department of Agricultural Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, v.le Fanin 44, Bologna 40127, Italy.


Turfgrasses are not only designed for recreation activities, but they also provide beneficial environmental effects and positively influence the human wellness. Their major problems are predisposition to tearing out and microbial diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the inoculation of microorganisms can be effective to improve plant growth and root development of perennial ryegrass, to evaluate new sustainable practice for green preservation. A microorganism-based commercial product was used to amend hydroponically grown Lolium perenne L. and results compared with the use of the same filtered product, a phytohormone solution and an untreated control. Plants were grown for five weeks, shoots cut and measured at one-week interval and, at the end, roots were measured for length and weight. Shoot resistance to tearing out was also tested. Moreover, the main microbial groups present in the product were characterized and the microbial profile of sand and root samples was investigated by PCR-DGGE. The plants treated with the product showed an increased resistance to tearing out with respect to other treatments and roots were longer with respect to the control. Microbial analyses of the product evidenced bacterial and yeast species with plant growth promoting activity, such as Stenothrophomonas maltophilia, Candida utilis and several Lactobacillus species. Some Lactobacillus strains were also found to be able to colonize plant roots. In conclusion, the treatment with microorganisms has a great potential for the maintenance and increased performance of turfgrass surfaces.

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