Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 1557–1569 | Cite as

Salt stress alleviation in citrus plants by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Pseudomonas putida and Novosphingobium sp.

  • Vicente Vives-Peris
  • Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas
  • Rosa María Pérez-ClementeEmail author
Original Article


Key message

This work reveals the protective role of two rhizobacteria, Pseudomonas putida and Novosphingobium sp., on citrus plants subjected to salt stress conditions.


Detrimental salt stress effects on crops are likely to increase due to climate change reducing the quality of irrigation water. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) can mitigate stress-induced damage in plants cultivated under high salinity conditions. In this work, Citrus macrophylla (alemow) plants inoculated with the rhizobacteria Pseudomonas putida KT2440 or Novosphingobium sp. HR1a were subjected to salt stress for 30 days. Results showed that in absence of salt stress, Novosphingobium sp. HR1a induced a decrease of transpiration (E) and stomatal conductance (gs). Both rhizobacteria reduced salt stress-induced damage. Levels of abscisic acid (ABA) and salicylic acid (SA) were lower in inoculated plants under salt stress conditions. Similarly, under stress conditions maximum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) in inoculated plants decreased to a lower extent than in non-inoculated ones. In stressed plants, Novosphingobium sp. HR1a also induced leaf accumulation of 3-indole acetic acid (IAA) and a delay in the decrease of quantum yield (ΦPSII). P. putida KT2440 inhibited root chloride and proline accumulation in response to salt stress. Although both bacterial species had beneficial effects on salt-stressed citrus plants, Novosphingobium sp. HR1a induced a better plant performance. Therefore, both strains could be candidates to be used as PGPRs in programs of inoculation for citrus protection against salt stress.


Citrus Novosphingobium Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Pseudomonas Salt stress 



Abscisic acid




Colony-forming units




Maximum efficiency of photosystem II


Stomatal conductance


3-Indole acetic acid




Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria


Quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry


Salicylic acid



The work published in this article has been supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (MINECO) and Universitat Jaume I through Grant nos. AGL2016-76574-R and UJI-B2016-23 respectively. V.V.-P. was recipient of a predoctoral contract from the Universitat Jaume I (PREDOC/2013/31). The authors want to acknowledge Ana Segura Carnicero and Lázaro Molina Delgado from Estación Experimental del Zaidín (Granada, Spain) for kindly providing the bacterial strains used in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

299_2018_2328_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Ciències Agràries i del Medi NaturalUniversitat Jaume ICastellón de la PlanaSpain

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