Jha Et Al

Jha et al

Journal of  Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 3 (
2), pp.073-084,
February 2013

 ISSN: 2276-7770 




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2013.2.010313354


Association of Rhizospheric/Endophytic Bacteria with Plants: A
Potential Gateway to Sustainable Agriculture


*Prabhat N Jha, Garima Gupta, Prameela Jha

Rajesh Mehrotra


Department of Biological Sciences, Birla Institute of
Technology and Science, Pilani-333031 Rajasthan, India


Author’s Email:

prabhatjha @
Tel.: +91 1596 245073 273

Fax: +91
1596 244183.


Application of associative bacteria for sustainable
agriculture holds immense potential. These bacteria are
known to enhance growth and yield of plants by fixing
atmospheric nitrogen, solubilization of phosphate,
production of phytohormones and siderophores, possession of
antagonistic activity as well as reducing the level of
stress ethylene in host plants. Colonization of these
bacteria can be tracked by tagging them with certain
molecular markers such as β-glucuronidase (gus) or green
fluorescent protein (gfp) followed by electron microscopy or
laser scanning confocal microscopy. Associative bacteria and
endophytes may express genes differentially to colonize and
establish the plant interior. They may also use ‘quorum
sensing’ molecules for colonization process. Present review
aims to highlight various plant growth promoting properties,
ecology and updates of molecular mechanisms involved in
interaction between associative bacteria and plants as well
as immune responses triggered by these bacteria in plants.

Keywords: Associative bacteria, endophyte,
diazotrophy, biocontrol, induced systemic tolerance, induced
systemic resistance.


Backman PA and Sikora RA (2008). Endophytes: An emerging tool
for biological control. Biol. Control. 46: 1–3.

Bais HP, Weir TL, Perry LG, Gilroy S and Vivanco JM (2006).
The role of root exudates in rhizosphere interactions with plants and other
organisms. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 57:233–66.

Baldani JI and Baldani VLD (2005). History on the biological
nitrogen fixation research in graminaceous plants: special emphasis on the
Brazilian experience. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências. 77: 549-579.

Bhattacharjee RB, Singh A and Mukhopadhyay SN (2008). Use of
nitrogen-fixing bacteria as biofertiliser for non-legumes: prospects and
challenges. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 80: 199–209.

Bhattacharya PN and Jha DK (2012). Plant growth-promoting
rhizobacteria (PGPR): emergence in agriculture. World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.

Bilal R, Rasul G, Arshad M and Malik KA (1993). Attachment,
colonization and proliferation of Azospirillum brasilense and Enterobacter spp.
on root surface of grasses. World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 9:63-69.

Biswas JC, Ladha JK, Dazzo FB, Yanni YG and Rolfe BG (2000).
Rhizobial inoculation influences seedling vigor and yield of rice. Agronomy J.

Boddey RM (1995). Biological nitrogen fixation in sugarcane:
a key to energetically viable biofuel production. Crit. Rev Plant Sci.

Böhm M, Hurek T and Reinhold-Hurek B (2007). Twitching
Motility is essential for endophytic rice colonization by the N2-fixing
endophyte Azoarcus sp. strain BH72. Mol Plant-Microbe In. 20: 526–533.

Chi F, Shen SH, Cheng HP, Jing YX, Yanni YG and Dazzo FB
(2005). Ascending migration of endophytic Rhizobia, from roots to leaves,
inside rice plants and assessment of benefits to rice growth physiology. Appl.
Environ. Microb. 71:7271–7278.

Compant S, Duffy B, Nowak J, Clément C and Ait Barka E
(2005). Use of plant growth-promoting bacteria for biocontrol of plant
diseases: principles, mechanisms of action, and future prospects. Appl.
Environ. Microb. 71: 4951–4959.

Compant S, Mitter B, Colli-Mull JG, Gangl H and Sessitsch A
(2011). Endophytes of grapevine flowers, berries, and seeds: identification of
cultivable bacteria, comparison with other plant parts, and visualization of
niches of colonization. Microb. Ecol. 62:188–197.

De Weert S, Dekkers LC, Bitter W, Tuinman S, Wijfjes AHM, van
Boxtel R and Lugtenbergn BJ (2009). The two-component colR/S system of
Pseudomonas fluorescents WCS365 plays a role in rhizosphere competence through
maintaining the structure and function of the outer membrane. FEMS Microbiol
Ecol. 58:205–213.

De-Bashan LE, Hernandez JP and Bashan Y (2012). The potential
contribution of plant growth-promoting bacteria to reduce environmental
degradation– A comprehensive evaluation. Appl. Soil Ecol. 61:171–189.

Egamberdieva D (2009). Alleviation of salt stress by plant
growth regulators and IAA producing bacteria in wheat. Acta Physiol. Plant.

Govindarajan M, Balandreau J, Kwon SW, Weon HY and
Lakshminarasimhan C (2008). Effects of the inoculation of Burkholderia
vietnamensis and related endophytic diazotrophic bacteria on grain yield of
rice.  Microb. Ecol. 55: 21–37.

Hallmann J, Quadt- Hallmann QA, Mahaffee WF and Kloepper JW
(1997). Bacterial endophytes in agricultural crops. Can J Microbiol.

Hardoim PR, van Overbeek LS and Elsas JD (2008). Properties
of bacterial endophytes and their proposed role in plant growth. Trends
Microbiol. 16:463-471.

Hurek T and Reinhold-Hurek B (2003). Azoarcus sp. strain BH72
as a model for nitrogen-fixing grass endophytes. J Biotechnol. 106:169-178.

Iniguez AL, Dong Y and Triplett EW (2004). Nitrogen fixation
in wheat provided by Klebsiella pneumoniae 342. Mol Plant–Microbe Interact.

Iniguez AL, Dong Y, Carter HD, Ahmer BMM, Stone JM and
Triplett EW (2005). Regulation of enteric endophytic bacterial colonization by
plant defenses. Mol Plant-Microbe Interact. 18:169–178.

Jankiewicz U and Kołtonowicz M (2012). The involvement of
Pseudomonas bacteria in induced systemic resistance in plants. Prikl Biokhim
Mikrobiol. 48:276-81.

Jha P and Kumar A (2009). Characterization of novel plant
growth promoting endophytic bacterium Achromobacter xylosoxidans from wheat
plant. Microb. Ecol. 58:179-188.

Jha PN, Mishra VK, Chaudhary MK, Sikarwar AP, Tyagi MB and
Kumar A (2004). Diversity in nitrogen fixation by endophytic Bacteria. In:
Microbial Diversity: Opportunities and Challenges. Eds. Gautam SP, Sharma A,
Sandhu SS and Pandey AK. Shree Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi
(India), pp- 287-307.

Khan AA, Jilani G, Akhtar MS, Naqvi SMS and Rasheed M (2009).
Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria: occurrence, mechanisms and their role in crop
production. J Agric. Biol. Sci. 1:48-58.

Lacava PT, Li WB, Araứjo WL, Azevedo JL and Hartung JS
(2006). Rapid, specific and quantitative assays for the detection of the
endophytic bacterium Methylobacterium mesophilicum in plants. J Microbiol
Methods. 65: 535–541.

Ladha JK and Reddy PM (2000). Steps towards nitrogen fixation
in Rice. The quest for nitrogen fixation in rice. (JK Ladha & PM Reddy,
eds), pp.33-46. International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines.

Lery LMS, Hemerly AS, Nogueira EM, von Krüger WMA and Bisch
PM (2011). Quantitative proteomic analysis of the interaction between the
endophytic plant-growth-promoting bacterium Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus
and sugarcane. Mol Plant Microbe in 24:562–576.

López-Bucio J, Campos-Cuevas JC, Hernández-Calderón E,
Velásquez-Becerra C, Farías-Rodríguez R, Macías-Rodríguez LI and
Valencia-Cantero E (2007). Bacillus megaterium rhizobacteria promote growth and
alter root-system architecture through an auxin- and ethylene-independent
signaling mechanism in Arabidopis thaliana. Mol Plant-Microbe in 20:207-17.

Lugtenberg B and Kamilova F (2009). Plant-growth-promoting
Rhizobacteria. Annu Rev Microbiol. 63:541–56.

Mastretta C, Taghavi S, van der Lelie D, Mengoni A, Galardi
F, Gonnelli C, Barac T, Boulet J, Weyens N and Vangronsveld J (2009).
Endophytic bacteria from seeds of Nicotiana tabacum can reduce cadmium
phytotoxicity. Int. J. of Phytorem. 11:251–267.

Miché L, Battistoni F, Gemmer S, Belghazi M and
Reinhold-Hurek B (2006). Upregulation of jasmonate-inducible defense proteins
and differential colonization of roots of Oryza sativa cultivars with the
endophyte Azoarcus sp. Mol Plant Microbe. 
19: 502–511.

Muthukumarasamy R, Cleenwerck I, Revathi G, Vadivelu M,
Janssens D, Hoste B, Gum KU, Park K, Son CY, Sa T and Caballero-Mellado J
(2005). Natural association of Gluconoacetobacter diazotrophicus and
diazotrophic Acetobacter peroxydans with wetland rice. Syst. Appl. Microbiol.

Niu D, Liu H, Jiang C, Wang Y, Jin H and Guo J (2011). The
plant growth–promoting rhizobacterium Bacillus cereus AR156 induces systemic
resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana, by simultaneously activating salicylate-
and jasmonate/ethylene-dependent signaling pathways. Mol Plant Microbe.  24: 533–542.

Nogueira E, de M, Vinagre F, et al. (2001). Expression of
sugarcane genes induced by inoculation with Gluconoacetobacter diazotrophicus
and Herbaspirillum rubrisubalbicans. Genetics Mol Biol. 24:199-206.

Oliveira ALM, Urquiaga S, Döbereiner J and Baldani JI (2002).
The effect of inoculating endophytic N2-fixing bacteria on micro-propagated
sugarcane plants. Plant Soil. 242:205–215.

Park KH, Lee O, Jung H, Jeong J, Jeon Y, Hwang D, Lee C and
Son H (2010). Rapid solubilization of insoluble phosphate by a novel
environmental stress-tolerant Burkholderia vietnamiensis M6 isolated from
ginseng rhizospheric soil. Appl. Microbiol Biotechnol. 86:947–955.

Pedrosa FO, Monteiro RA and Wassem R (2011). Genome of
Herbaspirillum seropedicae strain SmR1, a specialized diazotrophic endophyte of
tropical grasses. PLoS Genet 7:e1002064.

Preston GM, Bertrand N and Rainey PB (2001). Type III
secretion in plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescents SBW25. Mol
Microbiol. 41:999–1014.

Prieto P, Schilirò E, Maldonado-González MM, Valderrama R,
Barroso-Albarracín JB and Mercado-Blanco J (2011). Root hairs play a key role
in the endophytic colonization of olive roots by Pseudomonas spp. with
biocontrol activity. Microb. Ecol. 62:435–445.

Rajkumar M, Ae N, Prasad MNV and Freitas H (2010). Potential
of siderophore-producing bacteria for improving heavy metal phytoextraction.
Trends Biotechnol. 28:142-149.

Reinhold-Hurek B and Hurek T (2011). Living inside plants: bacterial
endophytes. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 14:435–443.

Rodrıguez H, Fraga R, Gonzalez T and Bashan Y (2006).
Genetics of phosphate solubilization and its potential applications for
improving plant growth-promoting bacteria. Plant Soil. 287:15–21.

Rosenblueth M and Martínez-Romero E (2006). Bacterial
endophytes and their interactions with hosts. Mol Plant-Microbe.  19: 827–837.

Rothballer M, Eckert B, Schmid M, Fekete A, Schloter M,
Lehner A, Pollmann S and Hartmann A (2008). Endophytic root colonization of gramineous
plants by Herbaspirillum frisingense. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 66:85–95.

Ryan RP, Germaine K, Franks A, Ryan DJ and Dowling DN (2008).
Bacterial endophytes: recent developments and applications. FEMS Microbiol
Lett. 278:1–9.

Selin C, Habibian R, Poritsanos N, Sarangi NPA, Fernando D
and de Kievit TR (2010). Phenazines are not essential for Pseudomonas
chlororaphis PA23 biocontrol of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, but do play a role in
biofilm formation. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 71:73-83.

Serrato RV, Sassaki GL, Cruz LM, Carlson RW, Muszynski A,
Monteiro RA, Pedrosa FO, Souza EM and Iacomini M (2010). Chemical composition
of lipopolysaccharides isolated from various endophytic nitrogen-fixing
bacteria of the genus Herbaspirillum. Can J Microbiol. 56: 342–347.

Spaepen S, Vanderleyden J and Remans R (2007).
Indole-3-acetic acid in microbial and microorganism-plant Signaling. FEMS
Microbiol Rev. 31:425–448.

Terakado-Tonooka J, Ohwaki Y, Yamakawa H, Tanaka F, Yoneyama
T and Fujihara S (2008). Expression of nifH genes of endophytic bacteria
detected in field-grown sweet potatoes (Ipomea batata L.). Microbes Environ.

Tian B, Yang J and Zhang K (2007). Bacteria used in the
biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes: populations, mechanisms of
action, and future prospects. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 61: 197–213.

van Loon LC (2007). Plant responses to plant growth-promoting
rhizobacteria. Eur J Plant Pathol. 119:243–254.

Yang J, Kloepper JW and Ryu C (2009). Rhizosphere bacteria
help plants tolerate abiotic stress. Trends Plant Sci. 14:1-4.

Yanni YG, Rizk RY and Corich V (1997). Natural endophytic
association between Rhizobium leguminosarum bv.trifolii and rice roots and
assessment of its potential to promote rice growth. Plant Soil. 194:99 -114.

You M, Nishiguchi T, Saito A, Isawa T, Mitsui H and
Minamisawa K (2005). Expression of the nifH gene of a Herbaspirillum endophyte
in wild rice species: daily rhythm during the light–dark cycle. Appl. Environ.
Microbiol. 71:8183–8190.

H, Xie X, Kim M, Kornyeyev DA, Holaday S and Pare W (2008). Soil bacteria
augment Arabidopsis photosynthesis by decreasing glucose sensing and abscisic
acid levels in plant. Plant J. 56:264–273.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *