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Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria for Cannabis Production: Yield, Cannabinoid Profile and Disease Resistance.

ABSTRACT

Legal production is now experiencing growing consumer demand due to changing legislation around the world. However, because of heavy restrictions on cannabis cultivation over the past century, little scientific research has been conducted on this crop, in particular around use of members of the phytomicrobiome to improve crop yields. Recent developments in the field of plant science have demonstrated that application of microbes, isolated from the rhizosphere, have enormous potential to improve yields, in particular under stressful growing conditions. This perspective carefully examines the potential for plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to improve marijuana and hemp yield and quality. It then explores the potential use of PGPR for biological control of plant pathogens, which is particularly interesting given the stringent regulation of pesticide residues on this crop. As an industry-relevant example, biocontrol of powdery mildew, a common and deleterious pathogen affecting cannabis production, is assessed. Finally, two PGPR in genera frequently associated with higher plants ( and ) were selected as case studies for the potential effects on growth promotion and disease biocontrol in commercial cannabis production.