Plant and Soil

, Volume 308, Issue 1–2, pp 161–174 | Cite as

Promotion of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plant growth by rhizosphere competent 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase-producing streptomycete actinomycetes

  • Khaled A. El-Tarabily
Regular Article


The ability of streptomycete actinomycetes to promote growth of tomato through the production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase was evaluated under gnotobiotic and greenhouse conditions. To achieve this, 64 isolates of Streptomyces spp. obtained from a tomato rhizosphere in the United Arab Emirates were initially selected for their ability to produce ACC deaminase as well as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and subsequently for their rhizosphere competence as root colonizers. Of the two selected ACC deaminase-producing isolates showing exceptional rhizosphere competence, S. filipinensis no. 15 produced both ACC deaminase and IAA, whilst S. atrovirens no. 26 did not produce IAA. Under greenhouse conditions, the application of S. filipinensis no. 15 or S. atrovirens no. 26 resulted in the reduction of the endogenous levels of ACC, the immediate precursor of ethylene, in both roots and shoots and increased plant growth. Plant growth promotion was most pronounced in the presence of S. filipinensis no. 15 compared to S. atrovirens no. 26. This relative superiority in performance shows the advantage conferred to S. filipinensis no. 15 due to its ability to produce both IAA and ACC deaminase. In comparison, an ACC deaminase-producing isolate of S. albovinaceus no. 41 which was neither rhizosphere-competent nor capable of producing IAA, failed to promote plant growth compared to S. filipinensis no. 15 or S. atrovirens no. 26 although the growth promotion obtained by S. albovinaceus no. 41 was significant compared to control. The application of S. globosus no. 8, which was not rhizosphere-competent and did not produce detectable levels of ACC deaminase or IAA did not promote plant growth. These results indicate the importance of rhizosphere competence. In conclusion I report the production of ACC deaminase by streptomycete actinomycetes and its ability to enhance plant growth through reduction in the in planta levels of endogenous ACC and the consequent lowering of endogenous ethylene levels in plant tissues.


Actinomycetes Auxins Biological fertilizers Ethylene Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Rhizosphere competence Soil fertility 



The author would like to thank the United Arab Emirates University Research Council for financial support (Grant number 02-04-2-11/06). I would like also to thank Dr. S. Tariq from the Electron Microscopy Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University for his assistance in the preparation of SEM specimens.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl-AinUnited Arab Emirates

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