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Screening of plant growth promoting traits in heavy metals resistant bacteria: Prospects in phytoremediation

Tirry, N., Tahri Joutey, N., Sayel, H., Kouchou, A., Bahafid, W., Asri, M., El Ghachtouli, N.
Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Print) 2018 v.16 no.2 pp. 613-619
Cellulosimicrobium, alfalfa, biomass production, chromium, cobalt, copper, genetic engineering, greenhouse production, growth promotion, heavy metals, indole acetic acid, lead, metal tolerance, nickel, nucleotide sequences, phosphates, phytoremediation, plant growth, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, pollution, pot culture, ribosomal DNA, screening, sequence analysis, siderophores, soil, solubilization, zinc
Phytoremediation is considered as a novel environmental friendly technology, which uses plants to remove or immobilize heavy metals. The use of metal-resistant plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) constitutes an important technology for enhancing biomass production as well as tolerance of the plants to heavy metals. In this study, we isolated twenty seven (NF1-NF27) chromium resistant bacteria. The bacteria were tested for heavy metals (Cr, Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb and Co) resistance, Cr(VI) reduction and PGPB characters (phosphate solubilization, production of IAA and siderophores). The results showed that the bacterial isolates resist to heavy metals and reduce Cr(VI), with varying capabilities. 37.14% of the isolates have the capacity of solubilizing phosphate, 28.57% are able to produce siderophores and all isolates have the ability to produce IAA. Isolate NF2 that showed high heavy metal resistance and plant growth promotion characteristics was identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis as a strain of Cellulosimicrobium sp.. Pot culture experiments conducted under greenhouse conditions showed that this strain was able to promote plant growth of alfalfa in control and in heavy metals (Cr, Zn and Cu) spiked soils and increased metal uptake by the plants. Thus, the potential of Cellulosimicrobium sp. for both bioremediation and plant growth promotion has significance in the management of environmental pollution.