Technological watch

Effects of growth promoting microorganisms on tomato seedlings growing in different media conditions

AbstractPlant growth-promoting microbes (PGPM) play vital roles in maintaining crop fitness and soil health in stressed environments. Research have included analysis-based cultivation of soil-microbial-plant relationships to clarify microbiota potential. The goal of the research was to (i) evaluate the symbiotic microorganism effects on tomato seedling fitness under stressed conditions simulating a fragile soil susceptible to degradation; (ii) compare the plant-microbial interactions after inoculation with microbial isolates and fungi-bacteria consortia; (iii) develop an effective crop-microbial network, which improves soil and plant status. The experimental design included non-inoculated treatments with peat and sand at ratios of 50:50, 70:30, 100:0 (v:v), inoculated treatments with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Azospirillum brasilense (AZ) using the aforementioned peat:sand ratios; and treatment with peat co-inoculated with AMF and Saccharothrix tamanrassetensis (S). AMF + AZ increased root fresh weight in peat substrate compared to the control (4.4 to 3.3 g plant–1). An increase in shoot fresh weight was detected in the AMF + AZ treatment with a 50:50 peat:sand ratio (10.1 to 8.5 g plant-1). AMF + AZ reduced antioxidant activity (DPPH) (18–34%) in leaves, whereas AMF + S had the highest DPPH in leaves and roots (45%). Total leaf phenolic content was higher in control with a decreased proportion of peat. Peroxidase activity was enhanced in AMF + AZ and AMF + S treatments, except for AMF + AZ in peat. Microscopic root assays revealed the ability of AMF to establish strong fungal-tomato symbiosis; the colonization rate was 78–89%. AMF + AZ accelerated K and Mg accumulation in tomato leaves in treatments reflecting soil stress. To date, there has been no relevant information regarding the successful AMF and Saccharothrix co-inoculation relationship. This study confirmed that AMF + S could increase the P, S, and Fe status of seedlings under high organic C content conditions. The improved tomato growth and nutrient acquisition demonstrated the potential of PGPM colonization under degraded soil conditions.

Publication date: 03/11/2021

Author: Robert Pokluda,  Lucia Ragasová,  Miloš Jurica,  Andrzej Kalisz,  Monika Komorowska,  Marcin Niemiec,  Agnieszka Sekara




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.