Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 2299–2309 | Cite as

Effects of bacterial single inoculation and co-inoculation on growth and phytohormone production of sunflower seedlings under water stress

  • Paula CastilloEmail author
  • Maximiliano Escalante
  • Melina Gallardo
  • Sergio Alemano
  • Guillermina Abdala
Original Paper


The purpose of the study was to measure shoot and root dry matter (DM) and production of auxins, salicylic acid, abscisic acid, and jasmonic acid in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seedlings cultivated under water stress and singly inoculated or co-inoculated with Achromobacter xylosoxidans (SF2) and Bacillus pumilus (SF3 and SF4) bacterial strains. Shoot DM was higher in non-stressed seedlings than in stressed seedlings for all inoculation treatments. Water stress resulted in decreased relative water content and reduction of shoot DM. Root DM was higher in stressed seedlings than in non-stressed seedlings. Salicylic acid was the most abundant phytohormone in shoots of stressed, singly inoculated and co-inoculated seedlings. High salicylic acid content in stressed seedlings suggests that this hormone plays a key role in abiotic stress. Abscisic acid was higher in stressed and co-inoculated seedlings than in non-stressed seedlings but was lower than that of salicylic acid. Auxin profile was similar to that of abscisic acid in co-inoculated seedlings. Shoot jasmonic acid content was increased in stressed seedlings co-inoculated with SF2/SF3 or SF2/SF4. Shoot hormonal profiles were different from those of root, suggesting a differential effect of bacterial inoculation on these plant organs. Our findings will be useful in future strategies to mitigate drought effects on crop plants through bacterial inoculation treatments.


Bacterial inoculation Bacterial co-inoculation Phytohormone Sunflower 



Abscisic acid


Dry matter




Indole-3-acetic acid


Jasmonic acid


Relative water content


Salicylic acid



We acknowledge the technical support of Msc. O. Masciarelli for phytohormone measurements by LC–MS-MS. This study was supported by grants from SECYT-UNRC and ANPCYT to G.A. and S.A., and fellowships from CONICET to P·C. and from ANPCYT to M.E. The authors thank Dr. S. Anderson for English editing.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Castillo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maximiliano Escalante
    • 1
  • Melina Gallardo
    • 1
  • Sergio Alemano
    • 1
  • Guillermina Abdala
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Fisiología Vegetal, Departamento de Ciencias NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Río CuartoRío CuartoArgentina

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