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Effect of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on canola (Brassica napus L) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) plants



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Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living, soil-borne bacteria that colonize the rhizosphere and, when applied to crops, enhance the growth of plants. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria may enhance plant growth either by direct or indirect mechanisms. The direct mechanisms of action include nitrogen fixation,production of phytohormones and lowering of ethylene concentrations. The objective of this study was to determine whether Pseudomonas putida strain 6-8 isolated from the rhizosphere of legume crops grown in Saskatchewan fields was able to promote the growth of canola cv. Smart and lentil cv. Milestone plants by direct mechanisms. Initial studies determined the effect of strain 6-8 and other known phytohormoneproducing PGPR strains on the growth of canola and lentil plants both in gnotobiotic and growth chamber conditions. Variations in the results were observed, as there were significant differences among trials. Strain 6-8 enhanced the growth of canola cv. Smart in growth pouches but not in pots in growth chamber studies. In the case of lentil cv.Milestone, strain 6-8 had no significant effect in growth pouches, but it significantly increased root dry weight, shoot dry weight and root surface area in pots in growth chamber studies. A similar effect was observed with wild-type strains GR12-2 and G20- 18. Strain GR12-2 was consistent in promoting the growth of lentil cv. Milestone both in growth pouches and in pots in growth chambers when compared to other strains and the control. The ability of the PGPR strains to produce auxin and cytokinin phytohomones in pure culture and in the canola rhizosphere was tested using the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All the PGPR strains produced indole compounds and the concentration of the indoles produced increased with increasing concentrations of the precursor tryptophan. There were no significant differences among PGPR strains in production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when assayed using ELISA. The concentrations of IAA secreted by PGPR strains were extremely low (0.19 µg/ml – 9.80 µg/ml). Strain 6-8 produced the cytokinins, isopentenyl adenosine (IPA), zeatin riboside (ZR) and dihydroxyzeatin riboside (DHZR) in pure culture. Indole-3-acetic acid was detected in supernatants obtained from canola growth pouches inoculated with PGPR strains, but there were no significant differences in the concentrations of IAA secreted among PGPR strains. Significantly higher concentrations of IPA and ZR were observed in the rhizosphere of canola inoculated with strain 6-8 than in the non-inoculated control. Strain 6-8 produced siderophores, solubilized inorganic phosphate and used 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the precursor of ethylene, as sole nitrogen source. These traits are considered to be alternative mechanisms for direct plant growth promotion. A qualitative and quantitative study of root colonization by strain 6-8 was conducted by tagging the strain with green fluorescent protein in conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy and by conventional plating. The populations of strain 6-8 were higher on canola roots than on lentil roots by conventional plating. Similar results were also observed in confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) studies after 5, 7 and 9 days for canola and 3, 6 and 9 days for lentil. Pseudomonas putida strain 6-8 produced cytokinins and also possessed other direct growth promoting characteristics. The ability of strain 6-8 to promote the growth of canola cv. Smart in growth pouches and lentil cv. Milestone in growth chamber studies may be related to these direct growth promoting characteristics. Strain 6-8 may have potential for development as a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterial inoculant.



Root colonization, CLSM, Gnotobiotic assay, PGPR, Direct and indirect mechanisms, GFP



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Applied Microbiology and Food Science


Applied Microbiology and Food Science


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