Ying Ma

Ying Ma

University of Coimbra

Title: Rhizobacterium Bacillus sp. SC2b and its role in phytoextraction


Ying Ma is a researcher in the center for functional 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


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 S. plumbizincicola. 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

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