Induction of Systemic Resistance in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris by Antagonistic Rhizobacteria in Assistance with Native Mesorhizobium

  • Suman KumariEmail author
  • Veena Khanna


In the present study five potent rhizobacterial antagonists of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris alone and in combination with Mesorhizobium (M) were evaluated for their potential to elicit the defence response reactions to reduce the total loss of plants and enhance the growth of two chickpea cultivars i.e. resistant GPF-2 and susceptible JG-41. Observations revealed that maximum phenolic, peroxidase (PO) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity was induced after 30th day of germination. Maximum phenol concentration of 745.8 and 724.1 μg/gfw root tissues was recorded by Ps45 when co-inoculated with Mesorhizobium in both the varieties i.e. GPF-2 and JG-41 respectively. Isolates Ps45, Ps47 and Ps44 were found most promising to induce PO and PPO activity, in combination with Mesorhizobium and recorded superior over the fungicide with respect to negative control. Similar results were recorded for the phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), maximally induced on 20th day after germination, where dual inoculation of Ps44+M and Ps45+M induced 57.0 and 54.2 nmol of cinnamic acid min−1 gfw−1 in GPF-2. However in case of JG-41, Ps45 and Ba1a exhibited highest PAL activity of 54.2 and 41.4 nmol of cinnamic acid min−1 gfw−1. Malonic aldehyde concentration in stem tissues at 30th day revealed that lipid peroxidation was effectively reduced in rhizobacterial treated plants compared to fungicide and negative control, signifying the role of antagonistic plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in reducing the stress and enhancing the plant’s defence response to reduce the disease incidence and thus improving the plant growth and yield. Moreover the dual inoculations were observed superior over the fungicide treatment as well as single inoculations in terms of growth (root/shoot length and weight), signifying the synergistic effect of screened antagonists and native Mesorhizobium in suppressing the pathogen and thereby enhancing the plant growth.



The present investigation was conducted in the Pulses section, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Punjab Agricultural University. Further assistance was provided by Department of Microbiology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. First author is also thankful to Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi for providing financial assistance as Doctoral (INSPIRE) fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Breeding and GeneticsPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

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