Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1453–1465 | Cite as

Effects of Azospirillum brasilense and Pseudomonas fluorescens on nitrogen transformation and enzyme activity in the rice rhizosphere

  • Junhua Zhang
  • Sajid Hussain
  • Futao Zhao
  • Lianfeng Zhu
  • Xiaochuang Cao
  • Shengmiao Yu
  • Qianyu Jin
Soils, Sec 2 • Global Change, Environ Risk Assess, Sustainable Land Use • Research Article



Azospirillum brasilense (A. brasilense) and Pseudomonas fluorescens (P. fluorescens) have long been known to benefit inoculated rice plants, but their effects on nitrogen (N) transformations and enzyme activities in the rice rhizosphere are unclear. This study explored whether A. brasilense and P. fluorescens are involved in modifying N transformations, N-supplying capacity, and enzyme activities in the rice rhizosphere, and the performance of rice biomass after inoculation with A. brasilense and P. fluorescens was also evaluated.

Materials and methods

Rice inoculation was conducted under pot culture conditions in 2014 and 2015, and the experiment included four treatments: a control (CT), rice seedling roots inoculated with A. brasilense (Mb), rice seedling roots inoculated with P. fluorescens (Mp), and rice seedling roots inoculated with a mixture of A. brasilense and P. fluorescens (Mbp). The rice variety used in this trial was Zhongzheyou 1 (Indica). To explore the effects of A. brasilense and P. fluorescens strains on N transformations and enzyme activities in the rice rhizosphere, N fertilizer was not applied in this trial, while the full doses of P (150 mg P2O5 per pot) and K (320 mg K2O per pot) were applied.

Results and discussion

Inoculating the rice rhizosphere with A. brasilense and P. fluorescens greatly improved the ammonification activities in the soil, and the effects were more favorable in the Mbp treatment. However, the contribution of inoculation to the nitrification activity in the rhizosphere was poor. Compared to CT, the average mineralized N content in the Mbp, Mb, and Mp treatments was increased by 165.7, 110.2, and 88.5%, respectively. Co-inoculation with A. brasilense and P. fluorescens in the rice rhizosphere greatly increased the nitrogenase activities in the soil, and inoculating with A. brasilense alone in the rice rhizosphere also showed good results. The microbial biomass N and enzyme activities were positively related to the N transformations in the soil. Finally, rice biomass increased greatly after A. brasilense and P. fluorescens inoculation in the rhizosphere.


Inoculating A. brasilense and P. fluorescens in the rice rhizosphere accelerated N transformations and improved the N-supplying capacity of the rhizosphere soil, and increased rice biomass. The most beneficial effects were observed with A. brasilense and P. fluorescens co-inoculation in the rice rhizosphere.


A. brasilense Enzyme activity N transformation P. fluorescens Rice biomass Rice rhizosphere 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31201174), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY16C130007), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0200801), and Basic Research Foundation of National Commonweal Research Institute (2014RG004-5).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Rice BiologyChina National Rice Research InstituteHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Industrial Technology Research InstituteZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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