Pedosphere 32(1): 75--89, 2022
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2022 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Difficult-to-culture bacteria in the rhizosphere: The underexplored signature microbial groups
Sadaf KALAM, Anirban BASU,Appa Rao PODILE
Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500046(India)
      Microorganisms represent a substantial portion of the earth's biodiversity and biomass, and the plant rhizosphere is an innate reservoir teeming with heterogeneous microbes predominated by bacterial communities. Rhizospheric microbial diversity (genetic, phenotypic, and metabolic) has been extensively studied to understand the key ecological roles played by the microbial members, including plant growth promotion. The application of 16S rRNA gene sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has revolutionized the discovery of novel bacterial groups that have remained undetected by traditional cultivation-based approaches. Such technological advancements have opened new vistas in our current understanding of predominant but concealed and missed bacterial diversity referred to as difficult-to-culture bacterial lineages, especially the predominant phyla Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Planctomycetes, and Gemmatimonadetes. Regardless of their ubiquity and prevalence, little is known about their ecophysiology because of the non-availability of culturable members. More recently, there has been increased interest in understanding the cosmopolitan distribution and diversity of the difficult-to-culture bacteria, focusing on their role in driving complex plant-microbial interactions and mobilizing nutrients in soil and their potential as sources of novel bioactive metabolites. As an initial step, we review the distribution and significance of such bacterial phyla in soil, their ecophysiological roles, and their hidden plant growth promoting potential. The ability to select and deploy plant probiotic bacteria from the difficult-to-culture fraction of the bacterial community might open new avenues for improving crop health.
Key Words:  Acidobacteria,ecophysiological roles,Gemmatimonadetes,microbial diversity,Planctomycetes,plant growth promotion,Verrucomicrobia
Citation: Kalam S, Basu A, Podile A R. 2022. Difficult-to-culture bacteria in the rhizosphere: The underexplored signature microbial groups. Pedosphere. 32(1): 75–89.
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