Author(s): Hassan W, Bano R, Bashir F, David J
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Abstract Lead (Pb) pollution is appearing as an alarming threat nowadays. Excessive Pb concentrations in agricultural soils result in minimizing the soil fertility and health which affects the plant growth and leads to decrease in crop production. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are beneficial bacteria which can protect the plants against many abiotic stresses, and enhance the growth. The study aimed to identify important rhizobacterial strains by using the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) enrichment technique and examine their inoculation effects in the growth promotion of maize, under Pb pollution. A pot experiment was conducted and six rhizobacterial isolates were used. Pb was added to 2 kg soil in each pot (with 4 seeds/pot) using Pb(NO3)2 at the rate of 0, 100, 200, 300, and 400 mg kg(-1) Pb with three replications in completely randomized design. Rhizobacterial isolates performed significantly better under all Pb levels, i.e., 100 to 400 Pb mg kg(-1) soil, compared to control. Comparing the efficacy of the rhizobacterial isolates under different Pb levels, rhizobacterial isolates having both ACC-deaminase and nitrogen-fixing activities (AN8 and AN12) showed highest increase in terms of the physical, chemical and enzymatic growth parameters of maize, followed by the rhizobacterial isolates having ACC-deaminase activity only (ACC5 and ACC8), and then the nitrogen-fixing rhizobia (Azotobacter and RN5). However, the AN8 isolate showed maximum efficiency, and highest shoot and root length (14.2 and 6.1 cm), seedling fresh and dry weights (1.91 and 0.14 g), chlorophyll a, b, and carotenoids (24.1, 30.2 and 77.7 μg/l), protein (0.82 mg/g), proline (3.42 μmol/g), glutathione S-transferase, peroxidase and catalase (12.3, 4.2 and 7.2 units/mg protein), while the lowest Pb uptake in the shoot and root (0.83 and 0.48 mg/kg) were observed under this rhizobial isolate at the highest Pb level (i.e., 400 Pb mg kg(-1) soil). The results revealed that PGPR significantly decreases the deleterious effects of Pb pollution and increases the maize growth under all Pb concentrations, i.e., 100-400 Pb mg kg(-1) soil. PGPR chelate the Pb in the soil, and ultimately influence its bioavailability, release and uptake. The PGPR having both ACC-deaminase and nitrogen-fixing abilities are more effective and resistive against Pb pollution than PGPR having either ACC-deaminase or nitrogen-fixing activity alone. The ACC enrichment technique is an efficient approach to select promising PGPR.
This article was published in Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology