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Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) have tremendous potential to facilitate plant growth under abiotic stress and for
environmental decontamination (Ma et al. 2011). However, combining plants and microbes in multi-metal phytoremediation
systems challenging. A PGPB strain SC2b was isolated from the rhizosphere of Sedum plumbizincicola grown in lead (Pb)/zinc
(Zn) mine soils and characterized as Bacillus sp. based on (1) morphological and biochemical characteristics and (2) partial
16S ribosomal DNA sequencing analysis. Strain SC2b exhibited high-levels of resistance to cadmium (Cd) (300 mg/L), Zn
(730 mg/L) and Pb (1400 mg/L). This strain also showed various plant growth-promoting (PGP) features such as utilization
of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate, solubilization of phosphate, production of indole-3-acetic acid and siderophore. The
strain mobilized high concentration of heavy metals from soils and exhibited different biosorption capacity towards the tested
metal ions. Strain SC2b was further assessed for PGP activity by phytagar assay with a model plant Brassica napus. Inoculation
of SC2b increased the biomass and vigor index of B. napus. Considering such potential, a pot experiment was conducted to
assess the effects of inoculating the metal-resistant PGPB SC2b on growth and uptake of Cd, Zn and Pb by S. plumbizincicola in
metal-contaminated agricultural soils. Inoculation with SC2b elevated the shoot and root biomass and leaf chlorophyll content
of . Similarly, plants inoculated with SC2b demonstrated markedly higher Cd and Zn accumulation in the
root and shoot system indicating that SC2b enhanced Cd and Zn uptake by S. plumbizincicola through metal mobilization or
plant-microbial mediated changes in chemical or biological soil properties. Data demonstrated that the PGPB Bacillus sp. SC2b
might serve as a future biofertilizer and an effective metal mobilizing bioinoculant for phytoextraction of metal polluted soils.
Ying Ma is Post-doctoral researcher in the center for fictional ecology at University of Coimbra, Portugal. She completed her Postdoc in Key Laboratory of Soil
Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China in the year of 2012. Her research interests are
Plant and Environmental Biology, Plant-microbe-metal interaction and Bioremediation-heavy metal phytoremediation.
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