International Microbiology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 111–120 | Cite as

Identification of two pesticide-tolerant bacteria isolated from Medicago sativa nodule useful for organic soil phytostabilization

  • Ibtissem Aroua
  • Ghassen Abid
  • Fatma Souissi
  • Khdiri Mannai
  • Houcem Nebli
  • Sabrine Hattab
  • Ziad Borgi
  • Moez JebaraEmail author
Original Article


Plant-microbe interactions such as rhizobacteria legumes are interesting in organic farming that has undergone significant expansion in the world. The organic agriculture is as an environment-friendly technique and a sustainable alternative to intensive agricultural system. Three types of soil were chosen, organic (ORG), conventional (CON), and fallow land (NA) to isolate soil bacteria-nodulating Medicago sativa, in order to develop microbial inoculants for use in agricultural sustainable system. Soil analysis revealed significant higher amounts of total nitrogen, organic carbon, total phosphorus, and matter detected in ORG. As for heavy metals, ORG showed high Cu content due to the authorized chemical use in organic farming. A sample of 130 bacteria was isolated from Medicago sativa nodule, genetically characterized by PCR/RFLP of ribosomal 16S RNAs, and a great dominance of Sinorhizobium meliloti (88.4%, 73.8%, and 55.5%) is obtained among NA-, CON-, and ORG-managed soils, respectively. The ORG showed the high bacterial diversity with 13.3% of non-identified strains. The resistance against five pesticides (Prosper, Cuivox, Fungastop, Nimbecidine, and Maneb) revealed a maximum of inhibitory concentration about 10 mg l−1 of Prosper, 12 mg l−1 of Cuivox, 6 ml l−1 of Fungastop, 7.5 ml l−1of Nimbecidine, and 25 ml l−1 of Maneb. The analysis of the symbiotic properties and plant growth-promoting potential revealed two efficient strains significantly increased alfalfa dry weight through producing siderophores, phosphorus, and indole acetic acid (13.6 mg ml−1 and 19.9 mg ml−1 respectively). Hence, we identify two tolerant and efficient strains, Achromobacter spanium and Serratia plymuthica, isolated from Medicago sativa nodule with valuable potential able to phytostabilize pesticide-contaminated soils.


Conventional soil Medicago sativa Organic soil Pesticides PGPB 



This study was performed within a convention between the Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria, the Technical Center of Organic Agriculture, and the Regional Center of Research in Horticulture and Organic Agriculture at Chott-Meriem (Sousse, Tunisia). The author thanks Dr. Yordan Muhovski, PhD (Walloon Agricultural Research Centre CRA-W Department of Life Sciences. Gembloux, Belgium), for English editing.

Funding information

This study is supported by the laboratory project entitled “Tolerance of Legumes to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses” financed by the Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria.

This research work is carried out within the framework of a MOBIDOC thesis funded by the EU-PASRI program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria, Laboratory of LegumesUniversity of CarthageHammam LifTunisia
  2. 2.The Technical Center of Organic Agriculture in Chott MeriemChott MeriemTunisia
  3. 3.The Regional Center of Research in Horticulture and Organic Agriculture in Chott-Meriem Route TouristiqueChott MeriemTunisia

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