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Rhizobial symbiosis modifies root hydraulic properties in bean plants under non-stressed and salinity-stressed conditions

Franzini, Vinicius Ide, Azcón, Rosario, Ruiz-Lozano, Juan Manuel, Aroca, Ricardo
Planta 2019 v.249 no.4 pp. 1207-1215
Phaseolus vulgaris, Rhizobium leguminosarum, aquaporins, bacteria, beans, beneficial microorganisms, host plants, leaves, nitrogen, osmotic pressure, roots, salt stress, sap, sodium, soil, stomata, symbiosis, water flow, xylem
MAIN CONCLUSION: Rhizobial symbiosis improved the water status of bean plants under salinity-stress conditions, in part by increasing their osmotic root water flow. One of the main problems for agriculture worldwide is the increasing salinization of farming lands. The use of soil beneficial microorganisms stands up as a way to tackle this problem. One approach is the use of rhizobial N₂-fixing, nodule-forming bacteria. Salinity-stress causes leaf dehydration due to an imbalance between water lost through stomata and water absorbed by roots. The aim of the present study was to elucidate how rhizobial symbiosis modulates the water status of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) plants under salinity-stress conditions, by assessing the effects on root hydraulic properties. Bean plants were inoculated or not with a Rhizobium leguminosarum strain and subjected to moderate salinity-stress. The rhizobial symbiosis was found to improve leaf water status and root osmotic water flow under such conditions. Higher content of nitrogen and lower values of sodium concentration in root tissues were detected when compared to not inoculated plants. In addition, a drop in the osmotic potential of xylem sap and increased amount of PIP aquaporins could favour higher root osmotic water flow in the inoculated plants. Therefore, it was found that rhizobial symbiosis may also improve root osmotic water flow of the host plants under salinity stress.