Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria and Salinity Stress: A Journey into the Soil

  • Bahman Fazeli-NasabEmail author
  • R. Z. Sayyed
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 12)


A large number of studies have indicated that salinity stress and saline soils are cruel environmental limiting factors that retard the growth of crop plants. Present scenario of climate change will further increase the border of the area affected by saline soils, and therefore this phenomenon will threaten the productivity of crops leading to depletion of food sources of human societies. Various strategies including soil quality management policies, improving crop resistance against salinity stress, detoxification of noxious ions, improving the quality of irrigation water, and many other effects need to be examined to decrease the detrimental consequences associated with saline soils. In this context, the use of microorganisms especially plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) has been proposed as a sustainable way to fortify the quality of soils to help crop plants grow under salinity stress. Recent advances in molecular soil biology studies suggested that PGPR are involved in the important physiological process associated with plant growth and development. Among the other mechanisms, improvement in water and nutrient uptake, decrease in the toxicity of hazardous ions, amelioration of photosynthesis, improvement in nitrogen fixation, regulation/modulation of physiological signaling networks are the common features exhibited by PGPR to enhance the growth of plants in saline soils. Thus, it should be noted that these miracle bacterial species are legendary soil guards to protect both soil texture and crop plants from salinity stress in the light of present and upcoming global climate changes.


PGPR Salt stress Phytohormones Osmoregulation 


  1. Akbar M, Yabuno T, Nakao S (1972) Breeding for saline-resistant varieties of rice: I. variability for salt tolerance among some rice varieties. Jpn J Breed 22(5):277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali-Soufi M, Shahriari A, Shirmohammadi E, Fazeli-Nasab B (2017) Seasonal changes biological characteristics of airborne dust in Sistan plain, Eastern Iran. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Loess Research. Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan.
  3. Amozadeh S, Fazeli-Nasab B (2012) Improvements methods and mechanisms to salinity tolerance in agricultural crops. In: Proceedings of the first national agricultural conference in difficult environments. Islamic Azad University, Ramhormoz BranchGoogle Scholar
  4. Arshad M, Frankenberger WT Jr (2012) Ethylene: agricultural sources and applications. Springer Science & Business Media, New York. ISBN: 1461506751Google Scholar
  5. Ashraf M, Wu L (1994) Breeding for salinity tolerance in plants. Crit Rev Plant Sci 13(1):17–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Azad H, Fazeli-Nasab B, Sobhanizade A (2017) A study into the effect of Jasmonic and humic acids on some germination characteristics of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) seed under salinity stress. Iran J Seed Res 4(1):1–18. Scholar
  7. Babalola OO, Osir EO, Sanni AI, Odhiambo GD, Bulimo WD (2003) Amplification of 1-amino-cyclopropane-1-carboxylic (ACC) deaminase from plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in Striga-infested soil. Afr J Biotechnol 2(6):157–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belimov AA, Safronova VI, Sergeyeva TA, Egorova TN, Matveyeva VA, Tsyganov VE, Borisov AY, Tikhonovich IA, Kluge C, Preisfeld A (2001) Characterization of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria isolated from polluted soils and containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase. Can J Microbiol 47(7):642–652PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blaha D, Prigent-Combaret C, Mirza MS, Moënne-Loccoz Y (2006) Phylogeny of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase-encoding gene acdS in phytobeneficial and pathogenic Proteobacteria and relation with strain biogeography. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 56(3):455–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bray EA (1997) Plant responses to water deficit. Trends Plant Sci 2(2):48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burd GI, Dixon DG, Glick BR (2000) Plant growth-promoting bacteria that decrease heavy metal toxicity in plants. Can J Microbiol 46(3):237–245PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cao D, Li Y, Liu B, Kong F, Tran LSP (2017) Adaptive mechanisms of soybean grown on salt-affected soils. Land Degrad Dev 29(4):1054–1064. Scholar
  13. Carter D L, Chapman V, Doneen L, Kylin A, Peck A, Quatrano S, Shainberg I, Thomson W (2012) Plants in saline environments. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN: 3642809294Google Scholar
  14. Cheng Z, Park E, Glick BR (2007) 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase from Pseudomonas putida UW4 facilitates the growth of canola in the presence of salt. Can J Microbiol 53(7):912–918PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cicek N, Cakirlar H (2002) The effect of salinity on some physiological parameters in two maize cultivars. Bulg J Plant Physiol 28(1–2):66–74Google Scholar
  16. Ding W, Clode PL, Clements JC, Lambers H (2018) Effects of calcium and its interaction with phosphorus on the nutrient status and growth of three Lupinus species. Physiol Plant 163(3):386–398. PMID: 29570221. Scholar
  17. Drew MC, Hold PS, Picchioni GA (1990) Inhibition by NaCl of net CO2 fixation and yield of cucumber. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 115(3):472–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Egamberdieva D, Kamilova F, Validov S, Gafurova L, Kucharova Z, Lugtenberg B (2008) High incidence of plant growth-stimulating bacteria associated with the rhizosphere of wheat grown on salinated soil in Uzbekistan. Environ Microbiol 10(1):1–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Elad Y (1990) Production of ethylene by tissues of tomato, pepper, French-bean and cucumber in response to infection by Botrytis cinerea. Physiol Mol Plant Pathol 36(4):277–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Esashi Y (2017) Ethylene and seed germination. In: The plant hormone ethylene. CRC Press, pp 133–157Google Scholar
  21. Fazeli-Nasab B (2018) The effect of explant, BAP and 2,4-D on callus induction of trachyspermum ammi. Potravinarstvo Slovak J Food Sci 12(1):578–586. Scholar
  22. Ghosh S, Penterman JN, Little RD, Chavez R, Glick BR (2003) Three newly isolated plant growth-promoting bacilli facilitate the seedling growth of canola, Brassica campestris. Plant Physiol Biochem 41(3):277–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gleason SM, Wiggans DR, Bliss CA, Young JS, Cooper M, Willi KR, Comas LH (2017) Embolized stems recover overnight in Zea mays: the role of soil water, root pressure, and nighttime transpiration. Front Plant Sci 8:662PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Glick BR (2005) Modulation of plant ethylene levels by the bacterial enzyme ACC deaminase. FEMS Microbiol Lett 251(1):1–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Glick BR, Penrose DM, Li J (1998) A model for the lowering of plant ethylene concentrations by plant growth-promoting bacteria. J Theor Biol 190(1):63–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Glick BR, Cheng Z, Czarny J, Duan J (2007) Promotion of plant growth by ACC deaminase-producing soil bacteria. Eur J Plant Pathol 119(3):329–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Grichko VP, Glick BR (2001) Amelioration of flooding stress by ACC deaminase-containing plant growth-promoting bacteria. Plant Physiol Biochem 39(1):11–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grichko VP, Filby B, Glick BR (2000) Increased ability of transgenic plants expressing the bacterial enzyme ACC deaminase to accumulate Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn. J Biotechnol 81(1):45–53PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hairmansis A, Nafisah N, Jamil A (2017) Towards developing salinity tolerant rice adaptable for coastal regions in Indonesia. KnE Life Sci 2(6):72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hall JA, Peirson D, Ghosh S, Glick B (1996) Root elongation in various agronomic crops by the plant growth promoting rhizobacterium Pseudomonas putida GR12–2. Isr J Plant Sci 44(1):37–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Han H, Lee K (2005) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria effect on antioxidant status, photosynthesis, mineral uptake and growth of lettuce under soil salinity. Res J Agric Biol Sci 1(3):210–215Google Scholar
  32. Hasegawa PM, Bressan RA, Zhu J-K, Bohnert HJ (2000) Plant cellular and molecular responses to high salinity. Annu Rev Plant Biol 51(1):463–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hontzeas N, Saleh SS, Glick BR (2004) Changes in gene expression in canola roots induced by ACC-deaminase-containing plant-growth-promoting bacteria. Mol Plant-Microbe Interact 17(8):865–871PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hyodo H (2017) Stress/wound ethylene. In: The plant hormone ethylene. CRC Press, pp 43–63Google Scholar
  35. Ilangumaran G, Smith DL (2017) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in amelioration of salinity stress: a systems biology perspective. Front Plant Sci 8:1768. Scholar
  36. Jackson MB (2017) Ethylene in root growth and development. In: The plant hormone ethylene. CRC Press, pp 159–181Google Scholar
  37. Jia Y-J, Kakuta Y, Sugawara M, Igarashi T, Oki N, Kisaki M, Shoji T, Kanetuna Y, Horita T, Matsui H (1999) Synthesis and degradation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid by Penicillium citrinum. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 63(3):542–549PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Joshi R, Mangu VR, Bedre R, Sanchez L, Pilcher W, Zandkarimi H, Baisakh N (2015) Salt adaptation mechanisms of halophytes: improvement of salt tolerance in crop plants. In: Elucidation of abiotic stress signaling in plants. Springer, New York, pp 243–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kafi M, Mahdavi-damghani A (2005) Mechanisms of plant resistance to environmental stresses (translation). Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. ISBN: 9789645782038Google Scholar
  40. Keisham M, Mukherjee S, Bhatla SC (2018) Mechanisms of sodium transport in plants—progresses and challenges. Int J Mol Sci 19(3):647PubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kramer D (1984) Cytological aspects of salt tolerance in higher plants. In: Salinity tolerance in plants. Wiley, New York, pp 3–16Google Scholar
  42. Ma W, Sebestianova SB, Sebestian J, Burd GI, Guinel FC, Glick BR (2003) Prevalence of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase in Rhizobium spp. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 83(3):285–291PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maas EV, Hoffman GJ (1977) Crop salt tolerance–current assessment. J Irrig Drain Div 103(2):115–134Google Scholar
  44. Madhaiyan M, Poonguzhali S, Ryu J, Sa T (2006) Regulation of ethylene levels in canola (Brassica campestris) by 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase-containing Methylobacterium fujisawaense. Planta 224(2):268–278PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Makhlouf K, Hamrouni L, Khouja M, Hanana M (2015) Salinity effects on germination, growth and mineral nutrition of Ricinus communis seedlings. Acta Bot Hungar 57(3–4):383–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mangalassery S, Dayal D, Kumar A, Bhatt K, Nakar R, Kumar A, Singh J, Misra AK (2017) Pattern of salt accumulation and its impact on salinity tolerance in two halophyte grasses in extreme saline desert in India. Indian J Exp Biol 55(8):542–548Google Scholar
  47. Marschner H (1995) Mineral nutrition of higher plants, 2nd edn. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. Mayak S, Tirosh T, Glick BR (2004) Plant growth-promoting bacteria that confer resistance to water stress in tomatoes and peppers. Plant Sci 166(2):525–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Munns R (1993) Physiological processes limiting plant growth in saline soils: some dogmas and hypotheses. Plant Cell Environ 16(1):15–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Munns R, Tester M (2008) Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annu Rev Plant Biol 59:651–681. Scholar
  51. Nascimento WM (2003) Ethylene and lettuce seed germination. Sci Agric 60(3):601–606. Scholar
  52. Nordström AC, Eliasson L (1984) Regulation of root formation by auxin-ethylene interaction in pea stem cuttings. Physiol Plant 61(2):298–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pandey P, Kang S, Maheshwari D (2005) Isolation of endophytic plant growth promoting Burkholderia sp. MSSP from root nodules of Mimosa pudica. Curr Sci 89:177–180Google Scholar
  54. Parida AK, Das AB (2005) Salt tolerance and salinity effects on plants: a review. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 60(3):324–349. Scholar
  55. Penrose DM, Glick BR (2001) Levels of ACC and related compounds in exudate and extracts of canola seeds treated with ACC deaminase-containing plant growth-promoting bacteria. Can J Microbiol 47(4):368–372PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Penrose DM, Glick BR (2003) Methods for isolating and characterizing ACC deaminase-containing plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Physiol Plant 118(1):10–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Phogat V, Pitt T, Cox J, Šimůnek J, Skewes M (2018) Soil water and salinity dynamics under sprinkler irrigated almond exposed to a varied salinity stress at different growth stages. Agric Water Manag 201:70–82. Scholar
  58. Pitman MG, Läuchli A, Stelzer R (1981) Ion distribution in roots of barley seedlings measured by electron probe X-ray microanalysis. Plant Physiol 68(3):673–679PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rains DW (1969) Sodium and potassium absorption by bean stem tissue. Plant Physiol 44(4):547–554PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Reddy INBL, Kim B-K, Yoon I-S, Kim K-H, Kwon T-R (2017) Salt tolerance in rice: focus on mechanisms and approaches. Rice Sci 24(3):123–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Reich M, Aghajanzadeh T, Helm J, Parmar S, Hawkesford MJ, De Kok LJ (2017) Chloride and sulfate salinity differently affect biomass, mineral nutrient composition and expression of sulfate transport and assimilation genes in Brassica rapa. Plant Soil 411(1–2):319–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rengel Z (1992) The role of calcium in salt toxicity. Plant Cell Environ 15(6):625–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rost T, Jones T, Robbins J (1986) The role of ethylene in the control of cell division in cultured pea root tips: a mechanism to explain the excision effect. Protoplasma 130(1):68–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Safronova VI, Stepanok VV, Engqvist GL, Alekseyev YV, Belimov AA (2006) Root-associated bacteria containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase improve growth and nutrient uptake by pea genotypes cultivated in cadmium supplemented soil. Biol Fertil Soils 42(3):267–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Saleem M, Arshad M, Hussain S, Bhatti AS (2007) Perspective of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) containing ACC deaminase in stress agriculture. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 34(10):635–648PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sarabi B, Bolandnazar S, Ghaderi N, Ghashghaie J (2017) Genotypic differences in physiological and biochemical responses to salinity stress in melon (Cucumis melo L.) plants: prospects for selection of salt tolerant landraces. Plant Physiol Biochem 119:294–311PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shah S, Li J, Moffatt BA, Glick BR (1998) Isolation and characterization of ACC deaminase genes from two different plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Can J Microbiol 44(9):833–843PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sheldon A, Menzies N, So HB, Dalal R (2004) The effect of salinity on plant available water. SuperSoil. 2004 418(1–2):477–491. Scholar
  69. Singh RP, Shelke GM, Kumar A, Jha PN (2015) Biochemistry and genetics of ACC deaminase: a weapon to “stress ethylene” produced in plants. Front Microbiol 6:937. PMID: 26441873, PMCID: PMC4563596. Scholar
  70. Soni R, Yadav SK, Rajput AS (2018) ACC-deaminase producing rhizobacteria: prospects and application as stress busters for stressed agriculture. In: Microorganisms for green revolution. Springer, Singapore, pp 161–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Srinivas A, Rajasheker G, Jawahar G, Devineni PL, Parveda M, Kumar SA, Kishor PBK (2018) Deploying mechanisms adapted by halophytes to improve salinity tolerance in crop plants: focus on anatomical features, stomatal attributes, and water use efficiency. In: Salinity responses and tolerance in plants, vol 1. Springer, Cham, pp 41–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stiens M, Schneiker S, Keller M, Kuhn S, Pühler A, Schlüter A (2006) Sequence analysis of the 144-kilobase accessory plasmid pSmeSM11a, isolated from a dominant Sinorhizobium meliloti strain identified during a long-term field release experiment. Appl Environ Microbiol 72(5):3662–3672PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Suárez N, Medina E (2005) Salinity effect on plant growth and leaf demography of the Mangrove Avicennia germinans L. Trees 19(6):721–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tank N, Saraf M (2010) Salinity-resistant plant growth promoting rhizobacteria ameliorates sodium chloride stress on tomato plants. J Plant Interact 5(1):51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Tester M, Davenport R (2003) Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants. Ann Bot 91(5):503–527PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Vejan P, Abdullah R, Khadiran T, Ismail S, Nasrulhaq Boyce A (2016) Role of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in agricultural sustainability—a review. Molecules 21(5):573. Scholar
  77. Wang C, Knill E, Glick BR, Défago G (2000) Effect of transferring 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase genes into Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CHA0 and its gac A derivative CHA96 on their growth-promoting and disease-suppressive capacities. Can J Microbiol 46(10):898–907PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Xu G, Magen H, Tarchitzky J, Kafkafi U (1999) Advances in chloride nutrition of plants. Adv Agron:97–150. ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  79. Yildirim E, Taylor A, Spittler T (2006) Ameliorative effects of biological treatments on growth of squash plants under salt stress. Sci Hortic 111(1):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zahir ZA, Arshad M, Frankenberger WT (2004) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria: applications and perspectives in agriculture. Adv Agron 8:198–169Google Scholar
  81. Zarayneh S, Sepahi AA, Jonoobi M, Rasouli H (2018) Comparative antibacterial effects of cellulose nanofiber, chitosan nanofiber, chitosan/cellulose combination and chitosan alone against bacterial contamination of Iranian banknotes. Int J Biol Macromol 118:1045–1054. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Agricultural Research InstituteUniversity of ZabolZabolIran
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyPSGVP Mandal’s ASC CollegeShahadaIndia

Personalised recommendations