Endophytic colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana by Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus and its effect on plant growth promotion, plant physiology, and activation of plant defense
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Background and aims
Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus is a plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) that colonizes several plant species. Here, we studied the internal colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana tissues by G. diazotrophicus and analyzed its effects on physiology, growth, and activation of plant immune system during such association.
A. thaliana seedlings were inoculated with G. diazotrophicus and grown in substrate for 50 days. Effects on plant growth were estimated by quantifying number of leaves, leaf area, and fresh and dry weight. Endophytic bacterial population was determined by colony-forming unit (CFU), and its location in plant tissues was assayed by epifluorescence microscopy of red fluorescent protein-labeled bacterium. Whole canopy gas exchange (photosynthesis and transpiration) was determined using a portable photosynthesis system.
G. diazotrophicus efficiently promoted A. thaliana plant growth at 50 days after inoculation. Inoculated plants showed higher whole canopy photosynthesis, lower whole plant transpiration, and increased water-use efficiency. The bacterium colonized preferentially root xylem. The inoculation of plants defective in systemic acquired resistance (SAR)-associated defense revealed that plant immune system plays an important role during the early association stages.
G. diazotrophicus endophytically colonizes A. thaliana roots, promotes plant growth, and increases whole canopy photosynthesis. Our results indicate that A. thaliana is useful for molecular studies of the mechanisms involved in the interaction between plants and PGPB, especially those involving G. diazotrophicus.
KeywordsPGPB Endophytic bacteria BNF Plant defense Plant immunity G.diazotrophicus
This research was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), and Instituto Nacional de Ciências e Tecnologia em Fixação Biológica de Nitrogênio (INCT-FBN). First author received fellowship from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-CAPES.
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