J Adv Res 2016 Nov 4;7(6):839-50. Epub 2016 Sep 4.
Department of Biotechnology, School of Biosciences, Periyar University, Periyar Palkalai Nagar, Salem 636 011, Tamil Nadu, India.
Contamination of agriculture land by heavy metals is a worldwide risk that has sped up noticeably since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Hence, there arise the demands of heavy metal tolerant plant growth promoting bacterial strains for specific metal contaminated agricultural sites restoration. In this study, 36 bacterial isolates were screened out from the rhizospheric soil of Phaseolus vulgaris. Among these, two bacterial strains AR6 and AR8 were selected based on their higher Cr(VI) tolerance (1200 and 1100 μg/mL, respectively) and the maximum production of plant growth promoting substances. In the molecular characterization study, both the bacterial strains showed 99% homology with Cellulosimicrobium funkei KM032184. In greenhouse experiments, the exposure of Cr(VI) to P.vulgaris inhibited the growth and photosynthetic pigments and increased the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant expressions. However, rhizosphere bacterial inoculations alleviated the negative effect of Cr(VI) and enhanced the seed germination rate (89.54%), shoot (74.50%),root length (60%), total biomass (52.53%), chlorophyll a (15.91%), chlorophyll b (17.97%), total chlorophyll (16.58%) and carotenoid content (3.59%). Moreover, bacterial inoculations stabilized and modulated the antioxidant system of P. vulgaris by reducing the accumulation of Cr in plant tissues. The present finding shows the Cr(VI) tolerance and plant growth promoting properties of the rhizosphere bacterial strains which might make them eligible as biofertilizer of metal-contaminated soils.