N. Raddadi, L. Giacomucci, R. Marasco, D. Daffonchio, A. Cherif and F. Fava
Microbial Cell Factories, 17:83, (2018)
Polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers, Desert sandy soil, Water retention, Humidity uptake, Water stress
Background: Water stress is a critical issue for plant growth in arid sandy soils. Here, we aimed to select bacteria producing polyextremotolerant surface-active compounds capable of improving water retention and humidity uptake in sandy soils.
Results: From Tunisian desert and saline systems, we selected eleven isolates able to highly emulsify different organic solvents. The bioemulsifying activities were stable with 30% NaCl, at 4 and 120 °C and in a pH range 4–12. Applications to a sandy soil of the partially purified surface-active compounds improved soil water retention up to 314.3% compared to untreated soil. Similarly, after 36 h of incubation, the humidity uptake rate of treated sandy soil was up to 607.7% higher than untreated controls.
Conclusions: Overall, results revealed that polyextremotolerant bioemulsifiers of bacteria from arid and desert soils represent potential sources to develop new natural soil-wetting agents for improving water retention in arid soils.