In the author's experiments, seeds of wheat, oats, and barley were germinated on a moist filter paper to which culture of phosphate-mobilizing bacteria Cellulomonas sp. 32 SPBTI or Mycobacterium sp. 12 was added. It was shown that the bacteria are able to affect the uptake of different macro- and trace elements . As an example, Figure 28.10 illustrates transfer of potassium from soil solution to leaves of oats treated and not treated with Cellulomonas. Potassium content in leaves of the plants increased and concentration of exchangeable K+ in the soil solution decreased as a result of the bacterial treatment. Thus, Cellulomonas was favorable for supply of the plants with potassium. Similar variations in K content were observed after treatment of wheat seeds with Mycobacterium. However, treatment of barley seeds did not significantly change concentrations of K in soil or in different plant parts.
The ability of microorganisms to accumulate large amounts of potassium is well known . Growth rate of bacteria also depends upon K+ . As a consequence of the metabolic activity of plants and microorganisms, concentration of K+ in soil solution near the root surface can decrease, thereby inducing desorption of K+ held on the external surface of soil particles. Therefore, the increase of K content in the plants and decrease of K concentration in soil are quite appreciable.
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