Soil salinity severely affects plant nutrient use efficiency and is a worldwide constraint for sustainable crop production. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, with inherent salinity tolerance, are able to enhance plant growth and productivity by inducing modulations in various metabolic pathways. In the present study, we reported the isolation and characterization of a salt-tolerant rhizobacterium from Kallar grass (Leptochloa fusca (L.) Kunth). Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed its lineage to Staphylococcus sciuri and it was named SAT-17. The strain exhibited substantial potential of phosphate solubilization as well as indole-3-acetic acid production (up to 2 M NaCl) and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity (up to 1.5 M NaCl). Inoculation of a rifampicin-resistant derivative of the SAT-17 with maize, in the absence of salt stress, induced a significant increase in plant biomass together with decreased reactive oxygen species and increased activity of cellular antioxidant enzymes. The derivative strain also significantly accumulated nutrients in roots and shoots, and enhanced chlorophyll and protein contents in comparison with non-inoculated plants. Similar positive effects were observed in the presence of salt stress, although the effect was more prominent at 75 mM in comparison to higher NaCl level (150 mM). The strain survived in the rhizosphere up to 30 days at an optimal population density (ca. 1 × 106 CFU mL-1). It was concluded that S. sciuri strain SAT-17 alleviated maize plants from salt-induced cellular oxidative damage and enhanced growth. Further field experiments should be conducted, considering SAT-17 as a potential bio-fertilizer, to draw parallels between PGPR inoculation, elemental mobility patterns, crop growth and productivity in salt-stressed semi-arid and arid regions.
Akram, M. S., Shahid, M., Tariq, M., Azeem, M., Javed, M. T., Saleem, S., & Riaz, S. (2016). Deciphering Staphylococcus sciuri SAT-17 mediated anti-oxidative defense mechanisms and growth modulations in salt stressed maize (zea mays l.). Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(JUN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00867