• Article

Endophytic Bacteria from Seeds of Nicotiana Tabacum Can Reduce Cadmium Phytotoxicity

Although endophytic bacteria seem to have a close association with their host plant, little is known about the influence of seed endophytic bacteria on initial plant development and on their interactions with plants under conditions of metal toxicity. In order to further elucidate this close relationship, we isolated endophytic bacteria from surface sterilized Nicotiana tabacum seeds that were collected from plants cultivated on a cadmium-(Cd) and zinc-enriched soil. Many of the isolated strains showed Cd tolerance. Sterilely grown tobacco plants were inoculated with either the endogenous microbial consortium, composed of cultivable and noncultivable strains; single strains; or defined consortia of the most representative cultivable strains. Subsequently, the effects of inoculation of endophytic bacteria on plant development and on metal and nutrient uptake were explored under conditions with and without exposure to Cd. In general, seed endophytes were found to have a positive effect on plant growth, as was illustrated by an increase in biomass production under conditions without Cd. In several cases, inoculation with endophytes resulted in improved biomass production under conditions of Cd stress, as well as in a higher plant Cd concentration and total plant Cd content compared to noninoculated plants. These results demonstrate the beneficial effects of seed endophytes on metal toxicity and accumulation, and suggest practical applications using inoculated seeds as a vector for plant beneficial bacteria


Mastretta, C., Taghavi, S., van der Lelie, D., Mengoni, A., Galardi, F., Gonnelli, C., ... Vangronsveld, J. (2009). Endophytic Bacteria from Seeds of Nicotiana Tabacum Can Reduce Cadmium Phytotoxicity. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 11(3), 251-267.