Role of Resilient Soil Microbial Consortia on Growth and Yield Attributes of Chickpea under Water Stress

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Agronomy, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan

2 Soil Science Research Institute, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan

3 Land Resources Research Institute(LRRI), National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

4 Soil and Water Conservation Research Institute (SAWCRI), Chakwal, Pakistan


Dryland crop production is restraining due to severe effects of drought spells and natively derived resilient isolates can support crop yield enhancement under abiotic stress. This study elaborated for isolation, morpho-physiological, biochemical characterization and molecular identification of indigenous soil microbes from Thal desert of Pakistan and their application to elucidate the efficacy of desert isolates on yield of chickpeas growing on three farmer fields (Kakri, Adhi Kot and Jara) of native area. Isolates were identified through 16sRNA sequencing and used to formulate eight consortia with different combination. Four isolates (Bacillus subtilis RP-01, Enterobacter Cloacae RP-08, Bacillus mojavensis RS-14 and  Providencia vermicola RS-15) have ability to produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), Protease, catalase, ACC-deaminase and EPS, among, the two strains RP-01 and RP-08 were found phosphate solubilizer and others two isolates Mesorhizobium ciceri RZ-11 and Mesorhizobium ciceri RZ-22 were appeared as ammonia producing. The consortia in T7 showed highest grain yield (1201 kg ha-1) followed by T2 (1126 kg ha-1) at same location (Kakri) comparatively to other consortia and control (557 kg ha-1). Similarly, T2 found most promising consortia regarding grain yield (1072.1 kg ha-1 and 961.8 kg ha-1) at locations Adhi Kot and Jara, respectively during the 1st year. However, T4 also performed with par to T2 and T7 consortium and same trend was seen in the next year field experiments. The present study confirmed that T2 (Mesorhizobium ciceri RZ-11 + Bacillus subtilis RP-01 + Bacillus mojavensis RS-14), T4 (Mesorhizobium ciceri RZ-11 + Enterobacter cloacae RP-08 + Providencia vermicola RS-15) and T7 (Mesorhizobium ciceri RZ-22 + Enterobacter cloacae RP-08 + Providencia vermicola RS-15) are promising consortia for chickpeas yield in Thal desert of Punjab, Pakistan.