Fungicide tolerant Bradyrhizobium japonicum mitigate toxicity and enhance greengram production under hexaconazole stress

Mohammad Shahid , Mohd. Saghir Khan


Received February 22, 2018,Revised , Accepted July 18, 2018, Available online July 26, 2018

Volume 31,2019,Pages 92-108

Bacterial strain RV9 recovered from greengram nodules tolerated 2400μg/mL of hexaconazole and was identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis as Bradyrhizobium japonicum (KY940048). Strain RV9 produced IAA (61.6μg/mL), ACC deaminase (51.7mg/(protein·hr)), solubilized TCP (105μg/mL), secreted 337.6μg/mL EPS, and produced SA (52.2μg/mL) and 2,3-DHBA (28.3μg/mL). Exopolysaccharides produced by strain RV9 was quantified and characterized by SEM, AFM, EDX and FTIR. Beyond tolerance limit, hexaconazole caused cellular impairment and reduced the viability of strain RV9 revealed by SEM and CLSM. Hexaconazole distorted the root tips and altered nodule structure leading thereby to reduction in the performance of greengram. Also, the level of antioxidant enzymes, proline, TBARS, ROS and cell death was increased in hexaconazole treated plants. CLSM images revealed a concentration dependent increase in the characteristic green and blue fluorescence of hexaconazole treated roots. The application of B. japonicum strain RV9 alleviated the fungicide toxicity and improved the measured plant characteristics. Also, rhizobial cells were localized inside tissues as revealed by CLSM. Colonization of B. japonicum strain RV9 decreased the levels of CAT, POD, APX, GPX and TBARS by 80%, 5%, 13%, 13% and 19%, respectively over plants grown at 80μg/(hexaconazole·kg) soil. The ability to detoxify hexaconazole, colonize plant tissues, secrete PGP bioactive molecules even under fungicide pressure and its unique ability to diminish oxidative stress make B. japonicum an attractive choice for remediation of fungicide polluted soils and to concurrently enhance greengram production under stressed environment.

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