Seed and soil treatment with Pseudomonas fluorescens RGAF 19, P. fluorescens RG 26, Bacillus megaterium RGAF 51 and Paenibacillus macerans RGAF 101 can suppress fusarium wilt of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), but the extent of disease suppression by these rhizobacteria is modulated by soil temperature. In this work, the effect of temperature on plant–rhizobacteria interactions was assessed in relation to biocontrol potential for suppression of fusarium wilt of chickpea. Seed and soil treatment with those rhizobacteria delayed seedling emergence compared with nontreated controls, and either increased or had no deleterious effect on chickpea growth. Pseudomonas fluorescens isolates significantly increased chickpea shoot dry weight at 20°C and root dry weight at 25 and 30°C. All bacterial isolates colonized the chickpea rhizosphere and internal stem tissues at 20, 25 and 30°C, and there was a positive linear trend between bacterial population size in the rhizosphere and temperature increase. The maximum inhibition of mycelial growth and conidial germination of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris race 5 in vitro occurred at a temperature range optimal for bacterial growth and production of inhibitory metabolites. These results demonstrate the need to understand the effects of environmental factors on the biological activities of introduced rhizobacteria of significant importance for plant disease suppression.