Application of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) in Sustainable Agriculture: Advantages and Limitations

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jul 14;23(14):7784. doi: 10.3390/ijms23147784.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are significant groups of probiotic organisms in fermented food and are generally considered safe. LAB regulate soil organic matter and the biochemical cycle, detoxify hazardous chemicals, and enhance plant health. They are found in decomposing plants, traditional fermented milk products, and normal human gastrointestinal and vaginal flora. Exploring LAB identified in unknown niches may lead to isolating unique species. However, their classification is quite complex, and they are adapted to high sugar concentrations and acidic environments. LAB strains are considered promising candidates for sustainable agriculture, and they promote soil health and fertility. Therefore, they have received much attention regarding sustainable agriculture. LAB metabolites promote plant growth and stimulate shoot and root growth. As fertilizers, LAB can promote biodegradation, accelerate the soil organic content, and produce organic acid and bacteriocin metabolites. However, LAB show an antagonistic effect against phytopathogens, inhibiting fungal and bacterial populations in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere. Several studies have proposed the LAB bioremediation efficiency and detoxification of heavy metals and mycotoxins. However, LAB genetic manipulation and metabolic engineered tools provide efficient cell factories tailor-made to produce beneficial industrial and agro-products. This review discusses lactic acid bacteria advantages and limitations in sustainable agricultural development.

Keywords: agricultural; biocontrol; bioremediation; lactic acid bacteria; plant growth; sustainable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Female
  • Fertilizers
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillales*
  • Plants
  • Rhizosphere
  • Soil


  • Fertilizers
  • Soil

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (Project No. PJ01577903) Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.