Plant and Soil

, Volume 379, Issue 1–2, pp 337–350 | Cite as

Improved heat stress tolerance of wheat seedlings by bacterial seed treatment

  • Islam A. Abd El-Daim
  • Sarosh Bejai
  • Johan Meijer
Regular Article



To investigate if rhizosphere bacteria can improve heat tolerance of wheat.


Wheat (Triticum aestivum) seeds of the cultivars Olivin and Sids1 were treated with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens UCMB5113 or Azospirillum brasilense NO40 and young seedlings tested for management of short term heat stress.


Bacterial treatment improved heat stress management of wheat. Olivin showed higher heat tolerance than Sids1 both with non-inoculated and inoculated seeds. Heat increased transcript levels of several stress related genes in the leaves, while expression was lower in inoculated plants but elevated compared with the control. Enzymes of the ascorbate-glutathione redox cycle were activated in leaves after heat challenge but showed a lower response in inoculated plants. Metabolite profiling distinguished different treatments dependent on analysis technique with respect to primary and secondary metabolites. Analysis of some plant stress regulatory genes showed that bacterial treatment increased transcript levels while effects of heat treatment varied.


The improvement of heat tolerance by bacteria seems associated with reduced generation of reactive oxygen species (and consequently less cell damage), small changes in the metabolome while preactivation of certain heat shock transcription factors seems important. Seed inoculation with beneficial bacteria seems a promising strategy to improve heat tolerance of wheat.


Heat stress Wheat Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Azospirillum brasilense Priming Stress tolerance 



Ascorbate peroxidase


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Glutathione reductase


Heat shock transcription factors


Heat shock protein


Mono-dehydroascorbate reductase


Principal component analysis


Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria


Reactive oxygen species




S-adenosylmethionine synthetase



We are grateful for the metabolomic analysis carried out by Dr. Jane Ward and colleagues at the National Centre for Plant and Microbial Metabolomics in Rothamstead, UK. The A. brasilense NO40 strain was kindly supplied by Prof. Nabil Omar, Soils, Water and Environment Research Institute, Egypt. We also wish to thank Prof. Wedad Kasim and Prof. M. E. Osman, Tanta University, Egypt for their support. These studies were supported by FORMAS and SI. Funding for plant growth facilities were provided by KFI-VR.

Supplementary material

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Table S2 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Islam A. Abd El-Daim
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sarosh Bejai
    • 2
  • Johan Meijer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology, Uppsala Biocenter, Linnean Center of Plant Biology in UppsalaSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biology, Uppsala BiocenterSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant BiologyUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology, Soils, Water and Environment Research InstituteAgricultural Research CenterGizaEgypt

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