Induced Tolerance to Salinity Stress by Halotolerant Bacteria Bacillus aryabhattai H19-1 and B. mesonae H20-5 in Tomato Plants.J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Jul 28; 29(7):1124-1136.JM
Salinity is one of the major abiotic stresses that cause reduction of plant growth and crop productivity. It has been reported that plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) could confer abiotic stress tolerance to plants. In a previous study, we screened bacterial strains capable of enhancing plant health under abiotic stresses and identified these strains based on 16s rRNA sequencing analysis. In this study, we investigated the effects of two selected strains, Bacillus aryabhattai H19-1 and B. mesonae H20-5, on responses of tomato plants against salinity stress. As a result, they alleviated decrease in plant growth and chlorophyll content; only strain H19-1 increased carotenoid content compared to that in untreated plants under salinity stress. Strains H19-1 and H20-5 significantly decreased electrolyte leakage, whereas they increased Ca2+ content compared to that in the untreated control. Our results also indicated that H20-5-treated plants accumulated significantly higher levels of proline, abscisic acid (ABA), and antioxidant enzyme activities compared to untreated and H19-1-treated plants during salinity stress. Moreover, strain H20-5 upregulated 9-cisepoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 1 (NCED1) and abscisic acid-response element-binding proteins 1 (AREB1) genes, otherwise strain H19-1 downregulated AREB1 in tomato plants after the salinity challenge. These findings demonstrated that strains H19-1 and H20-5 induced ABA-independent and -dependent salinity tolerance, respectively, in tomato plants, therefore these strains can be used as effective bio-fertilizers for sustainable agriculture.