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Role of plant growth–promoting rhizobacterial consortium in improving the Vigna radiata growth and alleviation of aluminum and drought stresses


Aluminum (Al) is a major constraint for plant growth by inducing inhibition of root elongation in acid soils around the world. Besides, drought is another major abiotic stress that adversely affects growth and productivity of agricultural crops. The plant growth–promoting (PGP) rhizobacterial strains are useful choice to decrease these stressful effects and is now extensively in practice. However, the use of bacterial inoculation has not been attempted for the mitigation of Al stress in plants growing at high Al levels under drought stress. Therefore, in the present study, Al- and drought-tolerant bacterial strains were isolated from Lactuca sativa and Beta vulgaris rhizospheric soils. Among the bacterial isolates, two strains, CAM12 and CAH6, were selected based on their ability to tolerate high levels of Al (8 mM) and drought (15% PEG-6000, w/v) stresses. The bacterial strains CAM12 and CAH6 were identified as Bacillus megaterium and Pantoea agglomerans, respectively, by 16S rRNA gene sequence homology. Moreover, both strains showed multiple PGP traits even in the presence of abiotic stresses. In the pot experiments, inoculation of the strains CAM12 and CAH6 as individually or as included in a consortium improved the Vigna radiata growth under abiotic stress conditions and reduced Al uptake in plants. However, the most effective treatment was seen with bacterial consortium that allowed the plants to tolerate abiotic stress effectively and achieved better growth. These results indicate that bacterial consortium could be used as a bio-inoculant for enhancing V. radiata growth in soil with high Al levels subjected to drought conditions.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), Government of Chile, for providing the FONDECYT post-doctoral research grant (No. 3170123) to S. Silambarasan and FONDECYT regular grant (No. 1170264) to P. Cornejo. The authors also acknowledge CONICYT/FONDAP/15130015.

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Correspondence to Pablo Cornejo.

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Silambarasan, S., Logeswari, P., Cornejo, P. et al. Role of plant growth–promoting rhizobacterial consortium in improving the Vigna radiata growth and alleviation of aluminum and drought stresses. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 27647–27659 (2019).

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  • Abiotic stresses
  • Bacillus megaterium
  • Pantoea agglomerans
  • PGP traits
  • Rhizobacterial consortium
  • Vigna radiata