Regular Article

Plant and Soil

, Volume 356, Issue 1, pp 217-230

First online:

Contrasting colonization and plant growth promoting capacity between wild type and a gfp-derative of the endophyte Pseudomonas putida W619 in hybrid poplar

  • Nele WeyensAffiliated withEnvironmental Biology, Hasselt University Email author 
  • , Jana BouletAffiliated withEnvironmental Biology, Hasselt University
  • , Dirk AdriaensenAffiliated withLaboratory of Cell Biology & Histology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Antwerp University
  • , Jean-Pierre TimmermansAffiliated withLaboratory of Cell Biology & Histology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Antwerp University
  • , Els PrinsenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Groenenborgercampus, Antwerp University
  • , Sandra Van OevelenAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Groenenborgercampus, Antwerp University
  • , Jan D’HaenAffiliated withInstitute for Materials Research, Hasselt University
  • , Karen SmeetsAffiliated withBiodiversity, Phylogeny & Population Studies, Hasselt University
  • , Daniel van der LelieAffiliated withResearch Triangle Institute (RTI)
    • , Safiyh TaghaviAffiliated withBrookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Biology Department
    • , Jaco VangronsveldAffiliated withEnvironmental Biology, Hasselt University

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate the colonization of poplar by the endophyte Pseudomonas putida W619 and its capacity to promote plant growth. Poplar cuttings were inoculated with P. putida W619 (wild-type or gfp-labelled). The colonization of both strains was investigated and morphological, physiological and biochemical parameters were analyzed to evaluate plant growth promotion. Inoculation with P. putida W619 (wild-type) resulted in remarkable growth promotion, decreased activities of antioxidative defence related enzymes, and reduced stomatal resistance, all indicative of improved plant health and growth in comparison with the non-inoculated cuttings. In contrast, inoculation with gfp-labelled P. putida W619 did not promote growth; it even had a negative effect on plant health and growth. Furthermore, compared to the wildtype strain, colonization by the gfp-labelled P. putida W619::gfp1 was much lower; it only colonized the rhizosphere and root cortex while the wild-type strain also colonized the root xylem vessels. Despite the strong plant growth promoting capacity of P. putida W619 (wild-type), after gfp labelling its growth promoting characteristics disappeared and its colonization capacity was strongly influenced; for these reasons gfp labelling should be applied with sufficient caution.

Keywords

plant growth promotion endophyte poplar biomass production food-bioenergy conflict green fluorescent protein