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Co-inoculation effect of plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria and rhizobium on EDDS assisted phytoremediation of Cu contaminated soils

Ju, Wenliang, Liu, Lei, Jin, Xiaolian, Duan, Chengjiao, Cui, Yongxing, Wang, Jie, Ma, Dengke, Zhao, Wei, Wang, Yunqiang, Fang, Linchuan
Chemosphere 2020 v.254 pp. 126724
Actinobacteria, Bacillus mucilaginosus, Ensifer meliloti, Rhizobium, alfalfa, bioavailability, biodegradability, biomarkers, chelating agents, copper, heavy metals, least squares, malondialdehyde, microbial biomass, microbial carbon, microbial communities, nitrogen, nutrient content, phytoremediation, phytotoxicity, plant growth, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, polluted soils, reactive oxygen species, rhizosphere, roots, soil nutrients, soil quality
Chelants application can increase the bioavailability of metals, subsequently limiting plant growth and reducing the efficiency of phytoremediation. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) and rhizobium have substantial potential to improve plant growth and plant tolerance to metal stress. We evaluated the effects of co-inoculation with a PGPR strain (Paenibacillus mucilaginosus) and a Cu-resistant rhizobium strain (Sinorhizobium meliloti) on the efficiency of biodegradable chelant (S,S-ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid; EDDS) assisted phytoremediation of a Cu contaminated soil using alfalfa. The highest total Cu extraction by alfalfa was observed in the EDDS-treated soil upon co-inoculation with the PGPR and rhizobium strains, which was 1.2 times higher than that without co-inoculation. Partial least squares path modeling identified plant oxidative damage and soil microbial biomass as the key variables influencing Cu uptake by alfalfa roots. Co-inoculation significantly reduced the oxidative damage to alfalfa by mitigating the accumulation of malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species, and improving the antioxidation capacity of the plant in the presence of EDDS. EDDS application decreased microbial diversity in the rhizosphere, whereas co-inoculation increased microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, and microbial community diversity. Increased relative abundances of Actinobacteria and Bacillus and the presence of Firmicutes taxa as potential biomarkers demonstrated that co-inoculation increased soil nutrient content, and improved plant growth. Co-inoculation with PGPR and rhizobium can be useful for altering plant–soil biochemical responses during EDDS-enhanced phytoremediation to alleviate phytotoxicity of heavy metals and improve soil biochemical activities. This study provides an effective strategy for improving phytoremediation efficiency and soil quality during chelant assisted phytoremediation of metal-contaminated soils.