Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 6940–6950 | Cite as

Mine land valorization through energy maize production enhanced by the application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

  • Helena Moreira
  • Sofia I. A. Pereira
  • Ana P. G. C. Marques
  • António O. S. S. Rangel
  • Paula M. L. CastroEmail author
Research Article


The use of heavy metals (HM) contaminated soils to grow energy crops can diminish the negative impact of HM in the environment improving land restoration. The effect of two PGPR (B1—Chryseobacterium humi ECP37T and B2—Pseudomonas reactans EDP28) and an AMF (F—Rhizophagus irregularis) on growth, Cd and Zn accumulation, and nutritional status of energy maize plants grown in a soil collected from an area adjacent to a Portuguese mine was assessed in a greenhouse experiment. Both bacterial strains, especially when co-inoculated with the AMF, acted as plant growth-promoting inoculants, increasing root and shoot biomass as well as shoot elongation. Cadmium was not detected in the maize tissues and a decrease in Zn accumulation was observed for all microbial treatments in aboveground and belowground tissues—with inoculation of maize with AMF and strain B2 leading to maximum reductions in Zn shoot and root accumulation of up to 48 and 43 %, respectively. Although microbial single inoculation generally did not increase N and P levels in maize plants, co-inoculation of the PGPR and the AMF improved substantially P accumulation in roots. The DGGE analysis of the bacterial rhizosphere community showed that the samples inoculated with the AMF clustered apart of those without the AMF and the Shannon-Wiener Index (H′) increased over the course of the experiment when both inoculants were present. This work shows the benefits of combined inoculation of AMF and PGPR for the growth energy maize in metal contaminated soils and their potential for the application in phytomanagement strategies.


Maize PGPR AMF Zinc Phytomanagement 



1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


Bioconcentration factor


Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Extraradical mycelium


Flame atomic absorption spectrometry


Indole-3-acetic acid


Shannon-Wiener index


Heavy metals


Ammonium acetate


Principal component analysis


Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria


Translocation factor


Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean



This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and Fundo Social Europeu (III Quadro Comunitário de apoio), research grants of Helena Moreira (SFRH/BPD/105152/2014), Sofia I.A. Pereira (SFRH/BPD/65134/2009), Ana P.G.C. Marques (EXPL/AGR-PRO/0521/2013), and by National Funds through FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia under the project PEst-OE/EQB/LA0016/2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Moreira
    • 1
  • Sofia I. A. Pereira
    • 1
  • Ana P. G. C. Marques
    • 1
  • António O. S. S. Rangel
    • 1
  • Paula M. L. Castro
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa/PortoPortoPortugal

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