Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

Plant growth-promoting Rhizopseudomonas: expanded biotechnological purposes and antimicrobial resistance concern

  • Raoudha Ferjani
  • Haythem Gharsa
  • Vanesa Estepa-Pérez
  • Elena Gómez-Sanz
  • Marwa Cherni
  • Mouna Mahjoubi
  • Abdelatlif Boudabous
  • Carmen Torres
  • Hadda-Imene OuzariEmail author
Original Article


The present study was conducted to characterize a collection of plant growth-promoting (PGP) Rhizopseudomonas isolated from date palm roots for their biosurfactant production ability, heavy metal tolerance, and antimicrobial susceptibility. A collection of 36 bacterial strains was evaluated for several plant growth-promoting abilities including indole acetic acid (IAA) production, mineral phosphate solubilization, siderophores and ammonia release, and protease and cellulase activity. Biosurfactant production was screened throughout hemolytic activity, bleu agar test, and drop collapse method. Strains exhibiting tolerance to heavy metals at high concentration were subjected to PCR for the detection of heavy metal gene tolerance. Moreover, antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were determined using the disk-diffusion method. High rates of plant growth promotion activities were registered among the isolated rhizopseudomonads, mainly, the indole acetic acid production (88.8%), phosphate solubilization (63.8%), siderophore release (83.3%), and ammonia synthesis (52.7%). Furthermore, biosurfactant production was recorded, using three distinct methods, on 77.7% of the tested strains. Particularly, two strains affiliated to Pseudomonas vancouverensis and Pseudomonas brassicacearum harboring copA-arsR and arsB genes, respectively, and producing biosurfactants, were selected. The evaluation of antibiotic resistance dissemination risk analysis in the environment revealed a low rate of resistance among the analyzed strains and the absence of known antibiotic resistance genes. This investigation could provide the basis for the development of microbial inoculums showing multifarious properties for biotechnological application while caring human health.


Pseudomonas sp. PGP Biosurfactant Heavy metal Antimicrobial resistance 



The authors thank the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research in the ambit of the laboratory project LR03ES03.


This work was supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (LR03ES03), the project BIODESERT GA-245746 “Biotechnology from desert microbial extremophiles for supporting agriculture research potential in Tunisia and Southern Europe” (European Union) and the project SAF2012-35474 from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain and FEDER.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and the University of Milan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raoudha Ferjani
    • 1
  • Haythem Gharsa
    • 1
  • Vanesa Estepa-Pérez
    • 2
  • Elena Gómez-Sanz
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marwa Cherni
    • 1
  • Mouna Mahjoubi
    • 4
  • Abdelatlif Boudabous
    • 1
  • Carmen Torres
    • 2
  • Hadda-Imene Ouzari
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Microorganismes et Biomolécules Actives (LR03ES03), Faculté des Sciences de TunisUniversité Tunis El ManarTunisTunisie
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of La RiojaLogroñoSpain
  3. 3.Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)ZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Laboratory of Biotechnology and Bio-Geo Resources Valorization, Higher Institute for BiotechnologyUniversity of ManoubaArianaTunisia

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