Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 9 No. 2

Nitrogen Fixing Biofertilizers; Mechanism and Growth Promotion: A Review

Tauseef A Bhat, Latief Ahmad, Monzoor A Ganai, Shams-Ul-Haq and Owais A. Khan

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir - 190 025, India.

Received on 05 November 2014 and accepted on 20 December 2014



Nitrogen is generally considered one of the major limiting nutrients in plant growth. The biological process responsible for reduction of molecular nitrogen into ammonia is referred to as nitrogen fixation. A wide diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacterial species belonging to most phyla of the Bacteria domain has the capacity to colonize the rhizosphere and to interact with plants. Leguminous and actinorhizal plants can obtain their nitrogen by association with rhizobia or Frankia via differentiation on their respective host plants of a specialized organ, the root nodule. Other symbiotic associations involve heterocystous cyanobacteria, while increasing numbers of nitrogen-fixing species have been identified as colonizing the root surface and, in some cases, the root interior (Nitrogen fixing endophytes) of a variety of cereal crops and pasture grasses. Bacterial mechanisms of plant growth promotion include biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), synthesis of phytohormones, environmental stress relief, inhibition of plant ethylene synthesis, as well as increasing availability of nutrients like iron through production of siderophores.

Keywords : Biofertilizers, Nitrogen, Rhizobium, Actinorhizal plants, Siderophores.