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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Applied Microbiology

Author ORCID Identifier

Saroj Burlakoti

Amita Kaundal







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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Beneficial microbes are crucial for improving crop adaptation and growth under various stresses. They enhance nutrient uptake, improve plant immune responses, and help plants tolerate stresses like drought, salinity, and heat. The yield potential of any crop is significantly influenced by its associated microbiomes and their potential to improve growth under different stressful environments. Therefore, it is crucial and exciting to understand the mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions. Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the primary staple foods worldwide, in addition to wheat and rice. Maize is also an industrial crop globally, contributing 83% of its production for use in feed, starch, and biofuel industries. Maize requires significant nitrogen fertilization to achieve optimal growth and yield. Maize plants are highly susceptible to heat, salinity, and drought stresses and require innovative methods to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental stresses and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. This review summarizes our current understanding of the beneficial interactions between maize plants and specific microbes. These beneficial microbes improve plant resilience to stress and increase productivity. For example, they regulate electron transport, downregulate catalase, and upregulate antioxidants. We also review the roles of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in enhancing stress tolerance in maize. Additionally, we explore the application of these microbes in maize production and identify major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to utilize the potential of beneficial microbes fully.