Plant and Soil

, Volume 291, Issue 1–2, pp 263–273 | Cite as

Role of dissimilatory fermentative iron-reducing bacteria in Fe uptake by common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants grown in alkaline soil

  • Eduardo Valencia-Cantero
  • Erasto Hernández-Calderón
  • Crisanto Velázquez-Becerra
  • Joel E. López-Meza
  • Ruth Alfaro-Cuevas
  • José López-Bucio
Original Paper


Iron (Fe) is an essential element for plant growth and development. Some plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria can increase Fe uptake by plants through reduction of Fe(III) to Fe(II) at the root surface. The aim of this work was to identify novel bacterial strains with high Fe(III) reduction ability and to evaluate their role in plant Fe uptake. Four bacterial strains (UMCV1 to UMCV4) showing dissimilatory Fe-reducing activity were isolated from the rhizosphere of bean and maize plants and further identified by 16S rDNA amplification and sequence analysis. From these analyses, UMCV1 and UMCV2 isolates were identified as Bacillus megaterium and Arthrobacter spp., respectively, whereas UMCV3 and UMCV4 were identified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. All four isolates showed Fe reduction in a nonflooded soil and when associated with roots of bean plants grown in alkaline soil or in mineral medium. In addition, the bacterial isolates were able to stimulate plant growth in vitro and on a broad level, plants grown in inoculated soil were generally bigger and with higher Fe content than those grown in sterilized soil. These results indicate that bacterial species isolated from the rhizosphere of bean and maize plants contribute significantly to Fe uptake by plants likely through increased Fe(III) reduction in the rhizosphere.


Plant growth Rhizosphere Iron-reducing bacteria Plant nutrition 



This work was supported by Grants from the Coordinación de la Investigación Científica (UMSNH, CIC 2.2) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (42899) to EVC. EHC was supported by scholarships from CONACyT and UMSNH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Valencia-Cantero
    • 1
  • Erasto Hernández-Calderón
    • 1
  • Crisanto Velázquez-Becerra
    • 1
  • Joel E. López-Meza
    • 2
  • Ruth Alfaro-Cuevas
    • 1
  • José López-Bucio
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Químico-BiológicasUniversidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Centro Multidisciplinario de Estudios en Biotecnología-FMVZUniversidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico

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