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    Microbial Mitigation of Drought Stress in Plants: Adaptations to Climate Change

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    The global temperature is constantly increasing due to the phenomenon of climate change. Plants have developed various mechanisms to defend themselves against environmental stresses including drought stress. Apart from indigenous biochemical, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of adaptation to stress, the plant-associated microbes may also play a crucial role in plant drought tolerance. The endophytic and rhizospheric microbes perform various functions and produce different enzymes and compounds that play an important role in plants’ adaptation to various environmental stresses including drought stress. Some of the key mechanisms include production of growth hormones, siderophores, organic acids, induction of the ROS scavenging system, phosphate solubilization, and nitrogen fixation. However, the production of ACC deaminase in the plant-associated microbes has vital roles in reduction of ethylene levels under drought stress, resulting in improved plant growth and stress tolerance. Owing to the complex nature of drought tolerance, a multi-pronged approach would have to be adapted to further enhance the microbial-mediated drought tolerance in plants
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