Soil salinization and desertification due to climate change are the most relevant challenges for the agriculture of the 21st century. Soil compost amendment and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGP-R) are valuable tools to mitigate salinization and desertification impacts on agricultural soils. Selection of novel halo/thermo-tolerant bacteria from the rhizosphere of glicophytes and halophytes, grown on soil compost amended and watered with 150/300 mM NaCl, was the main objective of our study. Beneficial effects on the biomass, well-being and resilience, exerted on the assayed crops (maize, tomato, sunflower and quinoa), were clearly observable when soils were amended with 20% compost despite the very high soil electric conductivity (EC). Soil compost amendment not only was able to increase crop growth and biomass, but also their resilience to the stress caused by very high soil EC (up to 20 dS m−1 ). Moreover, compost amendment has proved itself a valuable source of highly halo-(4.0 M NaCl)/thermo tolerant rhizobacteria (55◦C), showing typical PGP features. Among the 13 rhizobacterial isolates, molecularly and biochemically characterized, two bacterial strains showed several biochemical PGP features. The use of compost is growing all around the world reducing considerably for farmers soil fertilization costs. In fact, only in Italy its utilization has ensured, in the last years, a saving of 650 million euro for the farmers, without taking into account the environment and human health benefits. Furthermore, the isolation of halo/thermo-tolerant PGPR strains and their use will allow the recovery and cultivation of hun-dreds of thousands of hectares of saline and arid soils now unproductive, making agriculture more respectful of agro-ecosystems also in view of upcoming climate change.
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