Plant and Soil

, Volume 443, Issue 1–2, pp 73–86 | Cite as

Bacteriostatic stimulus of meropenem on allelochemical-metabolizing Burkholderia sp. LS-044 mitigates ferulic acid autotoxicity in rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica cv. Tainung 71)

  • Asif Hameed
  • Mariyam Shahina
  • Li-Sen Young
  • Wei-An Lai
  • Kandikere Ramaiah Sridhar
  • Chiu-Chung YoungEmail author
Regular Article



To screen plant-associated Burkholderia strains for plant probiotic traits including allelochemical metabolism and understand their role on rice allelopathy using a bacteriostatic-dose of antibiotic.


Burkholderia sp. LS-044, CC-Al74 and CC-3XP9 were screened for plant probiotic traits. Rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica cv. Tainung 71) root endophytic isolate LS-044 was subjected to multilocus sequence typing, antibiotic assay, and seed germination bioassay under ferulic acid (FA; 0–200 ppm) and bacteriostatic-dose of meropenem (4 ppm). FA metabolism and cell viability were assessed through alamarBlue (AB) assay.


All tested Burkholderia strains exhibited multiple plant probiotic traits. LS-044, a meropenem-sensitive novel member of Burkholderia cepacia complex displayed rapid metabolism of multiple allelochemicals. Bacteriostatic-dose of meropenem improved germination index (GI) of inoculated seed under FA treatments. Meropenem promoted GI by controlling bacterial FA metabolism and prolonging the cell viability, as evident through AB assay. Uncontrolled bacterial growth under high-dose FA found to be phytotoxic to rice than FA alone.


Burkholderia sp. LS-044 is a potential allelochemical-metabolizing bacterium, which possibly plays a key role in rice allelopathy. Bacteriostatic-dose of meropenem mitigates autotoxicity by controlling and prolonging allelochemical metabolism of rice-associated LS-044.


Burkholderia cepacia complex Phenolics Germination index Symbiotic Antibiotic-resistance 





Burkholderia cepacia complex


Duncan’s multiple range test


ferulic acid


0 ppm FA


50 ppm FA


200 ppm FA

FA0 + Mer

0 ppm FA +4 ppm meropenem

FA50 + Mer

50 ppm FA +4 ppm meropenem

FA200 + Mer

200 ppm FA +4 ppm meropenem


germination index


Indole-3-acetic acid




bacteriostatic-dose of meropenem


minimum inhibitory concentration of meropenem


nutrient agar


nutrient broth


optical density


potato dextrose agar


gene encoding pyoluteorin


parts per million


gene encoding pyrrolnitrin

RH ratio

radicle:hypocotyl ratio


Tainung 71 without LS-044 inoculation


Tainung 71 with LS-044 inoculation


volatile organic compounds



Authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their critical comments on this manuscript and Ms. Yu-Ting Hseih for her technical assistance. This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan) under Grant No. MOST 107-2634-F-005-002 and by the “Innovation and Development Center of Sustainable Agriculture” from The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11104_2019_4195_MOESM1_ESM.docx (579 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 579 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil & Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Tetanti AgriBiotech Inc.Taichung CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of BiosciencesMangalore UniversityMangaloreIndia
  4. 4.Innovation and Development Center of Sustainable AgricultureNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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