A synergistic interaction between salt-tolerant Pseudomonas and Mesorhizobium strains improves growth and symbiotic performance of liquorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fish.) under salt stress
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- Egamberdieva, D., Li, L., Lindström, K. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2016) 100: 2829. doi:10.1007/s00253-015-7147-3
Chinese liquorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fish.) is a salt-tolerant medicinal legume that could be utilized for bioremediation of salt-affected soils. We studied whether co-inoculation of the symbiotic Mesorhizobium sp. strain NWXJ19 or NWXJ31 with the plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas extremorientalis TSAU20 could restore growth, nodulation, and shoot/root nitrogen contents of salt-stressed G. uralensis, which was grown in potting soil and irrigated with 0, 50, and 75 mM NaCl solutions under greenhouse conditions. Irrigation with NaCl solutions clearly retarded the growth of uninoculated liquorice, and the higher the NaCl concentration (75 and 100 mM NaCl), the more adverse is the effect. The two Mesorhizobium strains, added either alone or in combination with P. extremorientalis TSAU20, responded differently to the salt levels used. The strain NWXJ19 was a good symbiont for plants irrigated with 50 mM NaCl, whereas the strain NWXJ31 was more efficient for plants irrigated with water or 75 mM NaCl solution. P. extremorientalis TSAU20 combined with single Mesorhizobium strains alleviated the salt stress of liquorice plants and improved yield and nodule numbers significantly in comparison with single-strain-inoculated liquorice. Both salt stress and inoculation raised the nitrogen content of shoots and roots. The nitrogen contents were at their highest, i.e., 30 and 35 % greater compared to non-stressed uninoculated plants, when plants were inoculated with P. extremorientalis TSAU20 and Mesorhizobium sp. NWXJ31 as well as irrigated with 75 mM NaCl solution. From this study, we conclude that dual inoculation with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria could be a new approach to improve the tolerance of G. uralensis to salt stress, thereby improving its suitability for the remediation of saline lands.