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Effect of plant growth promoting Pseudomonas spp. on compatible solutes, antioxidant status and plant growth of maize under drought stress

Abstract

Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses affecting yield of dryland crops. Rhizobacterial populations of stressed soils are adapted and tolerant to stress and can be screened for isolation of efficient stress adaptive/tolerant, plant growth promoting rhizobacterial (PGPR) strains that can be used as inoculants for crops grown in stressed ecosystems. The effect of inoculation of five drought tolerant plant growth promoting Pseudomonas spp. strains namely P. entomophila strain BV-P13, P. stutzeri strain GRFHAP-P14, P. putida strain GAP-P45, P. syringae strain GRFHYTP52, and P. monteilli strain WAPP53 on growth, osmoregulation and antioxidant status of maize seedlings under drought stress conditions was investigated. Drought stress induced by withholding irrigation had drastic effects on growth of maize seedlings. However seed bacterization of maize with Pseudomonas spp. strains improved plant biomass, relative water content, leaf water potential, root adhering soil/root tissue ratio, aggregate stability and mean weight diameter and decreased leaf water loss. The inoculated plants showed higher levels of proline, sugars, free amino acids under drought stress. However protein and starch content was reduced under drought stress conditions. Inoculation decreased electrolyte leakage compared to uninoculated seedlings under drought stress. As compared to uninoculated seedlings, inoculated seedlings showed significantly lower activities of antioxidant enzymes, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) under drought stress, indicating that inoculated seedlings felt less stress as compared to uninoculated seedlings. The strain GAP-P45 was found to be the best in terms of influencing growth and biochemical and physiological status of the seedlings under drought stress. The study reports the potential of rhizobacteria in alleviating drought stress effects in maize.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi for providing the financial assistance in the form of network project on Application of Microorganisms in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (AMAAS).

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Correspondence to B. Venkateswarlu.

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Sandhya, V., Ali, S.Z., Grover, M. et al. Effect of plant growth promoting Pseudomonas spp. on compatible solutes, antioxidant status and plant growth of maize under drought stress. Plant Growth Regul 62, 21–30 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10725-010-9479-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10725-010-9479-4

Keywords

  • PGP Pseudomonas spp.
  • Maize seedlings
  • Drought stress
  • Physiological status
  • Antioxidant status