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Poplar and its bacterial endophytes: Coexistence and harmony

Associations between plants and microorganisms are very complex and are the subject of an increasing number of studies. Here, we specifically address the relationship between poplar and its endophytic bacteria. The role and importance of endophytic bacteria in growth and development of their host plants is still underestimated. However, since many endophytes have a beneficial effect on their host, an improved understanding of the interaction be-tween poplar and its endophytic bacteria has the potential to provide major breakthroughs that will improve the productivity of poplar. Endophytic bacteria can improve plant growth and development in a direct or indirect way. Direct plant growth promoting mechanisms may involve nitrogen fixation, production of plant growth regulators such as auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins, and suppression of stress ethylene synthesis by 1-aminocyclopropane-1- carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity. Endophytic bacteria can indirectly benefit the plant by preventing the growth or activity of plant pathogens through competition for space and nutrients, antibiosis, production of hydrolytic enzymes, inhibition of pathogen-produced enzymes or toxins, and through systemic induction of plant defense mechanisms. Examples of applications for custom endophyte-host partnerships include improved productivity and establishment of poplar trees on marginal soils and the phytoremediation of contaminated soils and groundwater. A systems biology approach to understand the synergistic interactions between poplar and its beneficial endophytic bacteria represents an important field of research, which is facilitated by the recent sequencing of the genomes of poplar and several of its endophytic bacteria


van der Lelie, D., Taghavi, S., Monchy, S., Schwender, J., Miller, L., Ferrieri, R., ... Newman, L. (2009). Poplar and its bacterial endophytes: Coexistence and harmony. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 28(5), 346-358. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352680903241204

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