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Chang P.,University of Waterloo | Gerhardt K.E.,University of Waterloo | Gerhardt K.E.,Waterloo Environmental Biotechnologies Inc. | Huang X.-D.,Waterloo Environmental Biotechnologies Inc. | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Phytoremediation | Year: 2014

Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) strains that contain the enzyme 1-amino- cyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase can lower stress ethylene levels and improve plant growth. In this study, ACC deaminase-producing bacteria were isolated from a salt-impacted (~50 dS/m) farm field, and their ability to promote plant growth of barley and oats in saline soil was investigated in pouch assays (1% NaCl), greenhouse trials (9.4 dS/m), and field trials (6-24 dS/m). A mix of previously isolated PGPB strains UW3 (Pseudomonas sp.) and UW4 (P. sp.) was also tested for comparison. Rhizobacterial isolate CMH3 (P. corrugata) and UW3+UW4 partially alleviated plant salt stress in growth pouch assays. In greenhouse trials, CMH3 enhanced root biomass of barley and oats by 200% and 50%, respectively. UW3+UW4, CMH3 and isolate CMH2 also enhanced barley and oat shoot growth by 100%-150%. In field tests, shoot biomass of oats tripled when treated with UW3+UW4 and doubled with CHM3 compared with that of untreated plants. PGPB treatment did not affect salt uptake on a per mass basis; higher plant biomass led to greater salt uptake, resulting in decreased soil salinity. This study demonstrates a method for improving plant growth in marginal saline soils. Associated implications for salt remediation are discussed. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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