Dr.Sk.Z.Ali has completed his Ph.D in Microbiology during 2011 at Osmania University and postdoctoral studies under UGC-Dr.D.S.Kothari Post-Doctoral Fellowship scheme. He is presently working as Assistant professor at Agri Biotech Foundation, an NGO to promote Agri Biotechnologies to benefit farmers. His research focus is on Plant-Microbe Interactions for alleviation of drought and heat stress effects in plants. Dr.Ali was awarded by Association of Microbiologists of India the “Young Scientist Award” in Agricultural Microbiology (2012) and also received SERB Young Scientist Project. Presently handling three research projects and published 15 research articles and two book chapters in well-reputed International and National peer reviewed journals.


Today, the most challenging task ahead of farmers, scientists, and policy makers is to produce enough food for a steadily increasing global population on a steadily decreasing area of arable land under the prospect of a more unpredictable environment as a result of the climate change. Drought is one of the major constraints on agricultural productivity worldwide and is likely to further increase. Worldwide extensive research is being carried out to develop strategies to cope with drought stress through development of drought tolerant varieties, shifting the crop calendars, resource management practices etc. and most of these technologies are cost-intensive. Recent studies indicate that microorganisms can also help plants to cope with abiotic stresses. Application of microorganisms together with novel technologies for their monitoring can contribute to solve food security issues in the changing climates. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria fortify plants and reveal unexpected tolerance potentials and mechanisms in plants. Our work is focused on Pseudomonas putida, a soil bacterium that gives diverse benefits to an unlimited range of plants. P. putida is capable of promoting plant growth and also provides protection for the plant from pests and other harmful bacteria. Here we aim to study the effects of the association between P. putida strain FBKV2 and maize DHM 117 during water depletion by identifying the early molecular and biochemical responses of maize. Our data suggest that plants can be protected from inhibitory effects of the drought stress by the P. putida FBKV2, although the degree of protection depends on the type of the bacterial strain and the plant genotype.