Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 317–328 | Cite as

Volatile organic compounds emitted by Bacillus sp. JC03 promote plant growth through the action of auxin and strigolactone

  • Chun-Hao Jiang
  • Yue-Sheng Xie
  • Kai Zhu
  • Ning Wang
  • Zi-Jie Li
  • Gan-Jun Yu
  • Jian-Hua GuoEmail author
Original Paper


The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plant rhizobacteria play a significant role in the promotion of plant growth. However, it is unclear how VOCs play a role in plant growth and which component participates in this process. In this study, we assessed the effect of the VOCs emitted by Bacillus sp. JC03 on the promotion of plant growth and identified the overall functional mechanism. The results indicated that the VOCs produced by JC03 could significantly promote the biomass accumulation of Arabidopsis and tomato. Furthermore, an analysis of Arabidopsis mutants perturbations in hormone production and signaling, in conjunction with analyses of hormone contents and gene expression levels, indicated that auxin and strigolactone played essential roles in the promotion of plant growth induced by the VOCs produced by JC03. The results showed that the ARF1 and CCD7 genes were significantly upregulated in the Arabidopsis seedlings exposed to the VOCs emitted by JC03 and the results of the endogenous hormone levels detection experiment reached the same conclusion. Furthermore, the VOC-induced phenotype was reduced or, even lost in the ARF1, and CCD7 mutant lines, while the phenotype remained in A. thaliana ecotype Col-0 seedlings and in other mutants, such as etr1, OST1 and gai1. Finally, GC-MS analysis results positively identified the compounds released from JC03, including 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 1, 3-propanediol, 2-methyl-dipropanoate, tetrahydrofuran-3-ol, 2-heptanone, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol. Only tetrahydrofuran-3-ol, 2-heptanone and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, at different concentrations, significantly promoted the growth of the Arabidopsis seedlings. In this study, we first demonstrated that the VOCs emitted by JC03 promoted plant growth through the action of auxin and strigolactone, and identified several new compounds, tetrahydrofuran-3-ol, 2-heptanone and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, that could promote plant growth. The important achievement of our study is the further elucidation of the interacting mechanisms related to plant responses to the VOCs emitted by microbes.


Bacillus sp. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Plant growth promotion Auxin Strigolactone 



Volatile organic compounds


Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria


Indole acetic acid


Abscisic acid








Multiple reaction monitoring mode


Solid phase microextraction


Least significant difference



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Young Scholars Program) (31701829), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471812, 31672075), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Young Scholars Program) (BK20170709), National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents (BX201600074), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M611839).

Author Contributions

CJ and JG designed research. CJ, YX, KZ, ZL and NW performed experimental work. CJ wrote the paper and GY, JG revised the paper.

Supplementary material

10725_2018_473_MOESM1_ESM.docx (265 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 265 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun-Hao Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yue-Sheng Xie
    • 1
  • Kai Zhu
    • 1
  • Ning Wang
    • 1
  • Zi-Jie Li
    • 1
  • Gan-Jun Yu
    • 3
  • Jian-Hua Guo
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Monitoring and Management of Crop Diseases and Pest Insects, Ministry of AgricultureEngineering Center of Bioresource Pesticide in Jiangsu ProvinceNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm EnhancementNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Plant Protection and Quarantine StationNanjingChina
  4. 4.NAUNanjingChina

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