Microbial inoculants also known as soil inoculants are agricultural amendments that use beneficial endophytes (microbes) to promote plant health. Many of the microbes involved form symbiotic relationships with the target crops where both parties benefit (mutualism). While microbial inoculants are applied to improve plant nutrition, they can also be used to promote plant growth by stimulating plant hormone production.
Research into the benefits of inoculants in agriculture extends beyond their capacity as bio fertilizers. Microbial inoculants can induce systemic acquired resistance (SAR) of crop species to several common crop diseases (provides resistance against pathogens). So far SAR has been demonstrated for powdery mildew, leaf spot and root rot.