Pedosphere 22(6): 848--859, 2012
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2012 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effect of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on growth, nodulation and nutrient accumulation of lentil under controlled conditions
M. ZAFAR1, M. K. ABBASI1, M. A. KHAN1, A. KHALIQ1, T. SULTAN2 and M. ASLAM2
1 Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, The University of Poonch, Rawalakot Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan)
2 Soil Biology Laboratory, Land Resources Research Program (LRRP), National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Islamabad (Pakistan)
ABSTRACT
      Application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) has been shown to increase legume growth and development under field and controlled environmental conditions.The present study was conducted to isolate plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) from the root nodules of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) grown in arid/semi-arid region of Punjab, Pakistan and examined their plant growth-promoting abilities.Five bacterial isolates were isolated, screened in vitro for plant growth-promoting (PGP) characteristics and their effects on the growth of lentil were assessed under in vitro, hydroponic and greenhouse (pot experiment) conditions.All the isolates were Gram negative, rod-shaped and circular in form and exhibited the plant growth-promoting attributes of phosphate solubilization and auxin (indole acetic acid, IAA) production. The IAA production capacity ranged in 0.5-11.0 μg mL-1 and P solubilization ranged in 3-16 mg L-1. When tested for their effects on plant growth, the isolated strains had a stimulatory effect on growth, nodulation and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) uptake in plants on nutrient-deficient soil. In the greenhouse pot experiment, application of PGPR significantly increased shoot length, fresh weight and dry weight by 65%, 43% and 63% and the increases in root length, fresh weight and dry weight were 74%, 54% and 92%, respectively, as compared with the uninoculated control. The relative increases in growth characteristics under in vitro and hydroponic conditions were even higher. PGPR also increased the number of pods per plant, 1,000-grain weight, dry matter yield and grain yield by 50%, 13%, 28% and 29%, respectively, over the control. The number of nodules and nodule dry mass increased by 170% and 136%, respectively. After inoculation with effective bacterial strains, the shoot, root and seed N and P contents increased, thereby increasing both N and P uptake in plants. The root elongation showed a positive correlation (R2=0.67) with the IAA production and seed yield exhibited a positive correlation (R2=0.82) with root nodulation. These indicated that the isolated PGPR rhizobial strains can be best utilized as potential agents or biofertilizers for stimulating the growth and nutrient accumulation of lentil.
Key Words:  indole acetic acid, inoculation, nodules, nutrient uptake, phosphate solubilization
Citation: Zafar, M., Abbasi, M. K., Khan, M. A., Khaliq, A., Sultan, T. and Aslam, M. 2012. Effect of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on growth, nodulation and nutrient accumulation of lentil under controlled conditions. Pedosphere. 22(6): 848-859.
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