Role of plant growth promoting Bacteria (PGPRs) as biocontrol agents of Meloidogyne incognita through improved plant defense of Lycopersicon esculentum

  • Kanika Khanna
  • Vijay Lakshmi Jamwal
  • Sukhmeen Kaur Kohli
  • Sumit G. Gandhi
  • Puja Ohri
  • Renu BhardwajEmail author
  • Leonard Wijaya
  • Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni
  • Parvaiz AhmadEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

Root-knot nematodes are major constraints among different pathogens with wide host range and cause severe agricultural loss worldwide. The present study was designed to understand the role of plant growth promoting bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa & Burkholderia gladioli) on growth and antioxidative potential in nematode infected Lycopersicon esculentum seedlings.


An experiment was conducted to assess the levels of superoxide anions, H2O2 and MDA contents generated during nematode infection. Moreover, the contribution of antioxidative enzymes, non-enzymatic antioxidants, total antioxidants and gene expression profiling was also carried out in nematode infected Lycopersicon esculentum seedlings.


The results of present study revealed that nematode infection reduced the growth of seedlings which upon inoculation of microbes was improved. Moreover, number of galls were reduced upon supplementation of these strains. Nematode infection also caused accumulation of superoxide anion, H2O2, and malondialdehyde contents along with nuclear damage and loss of cell viability which was reduced upon supplementation of microbes. The oxidative burst generated enhanced various antioxidant enzymes such as SOD (30.6%), POD (3.6%), CAT (18.1%), GPOX (65.9%), APOX (24.8%), GST (5.6%), DHAR (13.9%), GR (11%) and PPO (2.5%) which were further elevated upon application of P. aeruginosa (23.9%, 7.2%, 7%, 66%, 28.9%, 71.3%, 14.5%, 10.6% and 38.3%) and B. gladioli (5.1%, 30.6%, 16.2%, 92.1%, 78.5%, 97.5%, 15.5%, 65.7% and 23.2%). The non-enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, ascorbic acid and tocopherol) and total antioxidants contents (both water soluble and lipid soluble) were also enhanced upon inoculation of microbes. Confocal microscopy revealed the improvement in nuclear damage and cell viability in microbe inoculated roots. Gene expression profiling revealed the enhanced expression levels of SOD, POD, CAT, GR, GPOX, APOX, PPOgenes in P.aeruginosa inoculated nematode infected seedlings by 53%, 2.7%, 64.1%, 10.4%,19.7%, 29.2%, 38.4% and B. gladioli inoculated seedlings by 18.3%,144%, 67%, 43%, 308%, 151% respectively.


The results therefore suggest the favourable aspects of micro-organisms in modulating growth characteristics and antioxidative defense expression of Lycopersicon esculentum to encounter oxidative stress generated under nematode infection.


Root-knot nematodes Oxidative stress Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria Antioxidative defense Gene expression studies 





Hydrogen peroxide






Glutathione peroxidase


Ascorbate peroxidase


Dehydroascorbate peroxidase


Glutathione reductase


Superoxide dismutase


Guaiacol peroxidase


Polyphenol oxidase


Water soluble Antioxidants


Lipid soluble Antioxidants


Ascorbic acid




Reactive oxygen species


Phosphate buffer


Potassium Iodide


Trichloroacetic acid


Confocal laser scanning microscope


Bovine serum albumin



The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding to the Research Group number (RGP-199).

Author contribution

Renu Bhardwaj, Kanika Khanna and Parvaiz Ahmad designed the experimental work. Kanika Khanna, Sukhmeen Kaur Kohli and Vijay Laxmi Jamwal performed the work. Sumit Gandhi, Leonard Wijaya and Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni analyzed the data. Puja Ohri, Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni, Parvaiz Ahmad and Renu Bhardwaj revised the manuscript to the present form.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kanika Khanna
    • 1
  • Vijay Lakshmi Jamwal
    • 2
  • Sukhmeen Kaur Kohli
    • 1
  • Sumit G. Gandhi
    • 2
  • Puja Ohri
    • 3
  • Renu Bhardwaj
    • 1
  • Leonard Wijaya
    • 4
  • Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni
  • Parvaiz Ahmad
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Council of Scientific and Industrial ResearchIndian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM)JammuIndia
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  4. 4.Botany and Microbiology Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of Botany, S.P. CollegeSrinagarIndia

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