Plant models for abiotic stress resistance and compost maturity assessment
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Abiotic stress like drought strongly affects plant growth and development which can lead to crop productivity loses. Compost derived material can be used as soil improver or in growing media mixtures. The addition of organic matter can help the crop to face abiotic stress like drought and salt as well. In this project the plant response to drought has been studied using different modern barley varieties. Morphological parameters were assessed in different drought conditions and with the application of a bacterial inoculum. Different UK industry supplied compost samples were assessed for maturity with barley and tomato plant growth tests that is the one currently used in the UK The results suggest adding P. putida KT2440 to barley variety Concerto seedlings may have a positive impact on drought tolerance based on the specific plant growth indicator of leaf surface area. Further work is needed to fully elucidate the benefit of bacterial inoculum on drought tolerance of different barley varieties. The barley and tomato plant growth test results for compost maturity assessments suggested that the method used now in the UK could be improved to increase its efficiency and barley could be a more suitable plant for the test.