Microbial Ecology

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 369–374 | Cite as

N2-Fixation and Seedling Growth Promotion of Lodgepole Pine by Endophytic Paenibacillus polymyxa

  • Richa Anand
  • Susan Grayston
  • Christopher ChanwayEmail author
Plant Microbe Interactions


We inoculated lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia (Dougl.) Engelm.) with Paenibacillus polymyxa P2b-2R, a diazotrophic bacterium previously isolated from internal stem tissue of a naturally regenerating pine seedling to evaluate biological nitrogen fixation and seedling growth promotion by this microorganism. Seedlings generated from pine seed inoculated with strain P2b-2R were grown for up to 13 months in a N-limited soil mix containing 0.7 mM available N labeled as Ca(15NO3)2 to facilitate detection of N2-fixation. Strain P2b-2R developed a persistent endophytic population comprising 102–106 cfu g−1 plant tissue inside pine roots, stems, and needles during the experiment. At the end of the growth period, P2b-2R had reduced seedling mortality by 14 % and 15N foliar N abundance 79 % and doubled foliar N concentration and seedling biomass compared to controls. Our results suggest that N2-fixation by P. polymyxa enhanced growth of pine seedlings and support the hypothesis that plant-associated diazotrophs capable of endophytic colonization can satisfy a significant proportion of the N required by tree seedlings growing under N-limited conditions.


Biological Nitrogen Fixation Rifamycin Paenibacillus Polymyxa Endophytic Colonization Sterile Phosphate Buffer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this study was provided by an NSERC CGSD3 and a BC Min. Adv. Ed. PLGSF to RA and an NSERC Discovery Grant to CPC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richa Anand
    • 1
    • 3
  • Susan Grayston
    • 3
  • Christopher Chanway
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.IL-7, BC Children’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Land and Food SystemsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Forest SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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