Field performance of bacterial inoculants to alleviate water stress effects in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • Dinesh Chandra
  • Rashmi Srivastava
  • Vadakattu V. S. R. GuptaEmail author
  • Christopher M. M. Franco
  • Nishat Paasricha
  • Shabnam K. Saifi
  • Narendra Tuteja
  • Anil Kumar SharmaEmail author
Regular Article



Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase can play an important role in abiotic stress tolerance in plants, particularly drought. The objective of this study was to evaluate bacterial strains Variovorax paradoxus RAA3, Pseudomonas palleroniana DPB16, Pseudomonas sp. UW4 for their ability to alleviate drought stress in wheat in field experiments under irrigated and rain-fed conditions in the Uttarkhand region of India.


In this study, ACC deaminase producing bacterial strains Pseudomonas palleroniana DPB16, Pseudomonas sp. UW4 and Variovorax paradoxus RAA3 were evaluated for their efficiency in improving growth, nutrient content and yield of wheat varieties, HD2967 (drought sensitive) and PBW660 (drought tolerant) under rainfed (drought) and irrigated conditions.


Bacterial inoculants increased grain and straw yields at both sites, however the response to inoculation was considerably higher under rainfed conditions (64 to 90% increase with inoculation) compared to that observed under irrigated conditions (22 to 40% increase with inoculation). Of the three seed-coated inoculants tested, strain RAA3 maximally improved grain yield (28.2%, 47.4%), straw yield (11.2%, 26.0%) and harvest index (10.6%, 15.3%) under irrigated and rainfed conditions, respectively, compared to non-inoculated crops. The relative expression of the drought responsive gene aquaporin (TaTIP1;1), in response to inoculation, was significantly higher (3.34-fold) in the wheat variety PBW 660, as compared to the drought sensitive variety HD 2967 in which the expression level of aquaporin was unaffected. Under rainfed conditions, the relative mRNA level of the helicase gene WDH45 was significantly higher in HD 2967 (1.54-fold) than the PBW 660 (3.69-fold). Bacterial inoculation caused significant positive changes in plant biochemical and antioxidant properties compared to uninoculated plants.


Overall, the results show that the selected PGPB containing ACC deaminase activity along with other plant growth promoting characteristics are effective inoculants for improving wheat yields in irrigated and rainfed field experiments.


1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase Drought stress Foliar nutrients Plant growth promoting bacteria Rainfed Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Aquaporin 



Financial assistance for this work was provided by the Australia India Strategic Research Fund supported by the Governments of India and Australia, GBPUA&T Pantnagar, India, Flinders University and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia. This study was also partially supported by Indo-Philippines collaboration project.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4115_MOESM1_ESM.docx (219 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 218 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dinesh Chandra
    • 1
  • Rashmi Srivastava
    • 1
  • Vadakattu V. S. R. Gupta
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christopher M. M. Franco
    • 3
  • Nishat Paasricha
    • 4
  • Shabnam K. Saifi
    • 4
  • Narendra Tuteja
    • 4
  • Anil Kumar Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, CBS&HG.B. Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia
  2. 2.CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Locked bag 2Glen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Medical BiotechnologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Plant Molecular Biology GroupInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia

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