Strong demand for food requires specific efforts by researchers involved in the agricultural sector to develop means for sufficient production. While, agriculture today faces challenges such as soil fertility loss, climate change and increased attacks of pathogens and pests. The production of sufficient quantities in a sustainable and healthy farming system is based on environmentally friendly approaches such as the use of biofertilizers, biopesticides and the return of crop residues. The multiplicity of beneficial effects of soil microorganisms, particularly plant growth promotion (PGP), highlights the need to further strengthen the research and its use in modern agriculture. Rhizobia are considered as PGP comes in symbiosis with legumes taking advantage of nutrients from plant root exudates. When interacting with legumes, rhizobia help in increased plant growth through enriching nutrients by nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphates and producing phytohormones, and rhizobia can increase plants’ protection by influencing the production of metabolites, improve plant defense by triggering systemic resistance induced against pests and pathogens. In addition, rhizobia contain useful variations to tolerate abiotic stresses such as extreme temperatures, pH, salinity and drought. The search for rhizobium tolerant strains is expected to improve plant growth and yield, even under a combination of constraints. This chapter summarizes the use of rhizobia in agriculture and its benefits.
Part of the book: Symbiosis