Editor: Skorn Mongkolsuk
Trehalose accumulation in Azospirillum brasilense improves drought tolerance and biomass in maize plants
Article first published online: 8 MAY 2009
© 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume 296, Issue 1, pages 52–59, July 2009
How to Cite
Rodríguez-Salazar, J., Suárez, R., Caballero-Mellado, J. and Iturriaga, G. (2009), Trehalose accumulation in Azospirillum brasilense improves drought tolerance and biomass in maize plants. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 296: 52–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2009.01614.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 8 MAY 2009
- Received 29 November 2008; accepted 2 April 2009.Final version published online 8 May 2009.
- stress tolerance;
Bacteria of the genus Azospirillum increase the grain yield of several grass crops. In this work the effect of inoculating maize plants with genetically engineered Azospirillum brasilense for trehalose biosynthesis was determined. Transformed bacteria with a plasmid harboring a trehalose biosynthesis gene-fusion from Saccharomyces cerevisiae were able to grow up to 0.5 M NaCl and to accumulate trehalose, whereas wild-type A. brasilense did not tolerate osmotic stress or accumulate significant levels of the disaccharide. Moreover, 85% of maize plants inoculated with transformed A. brasilense survived drought stress, in contrast with only 55% of plants inoculated with the wild-type strain. A 73% increase in biomass of maize plants inoculated with transformed A. brasilense compared with inoculation with the wild-type strain was found. In addition, there was a significant increase of leaf and root length in maize plants inoculated with transformed A. brasilense. Therefore, inoculation of maize plants with A. brasilense containing higher levels of trehalose confers drought tolerance and a significant increase in leaf and root biomass. This work opens the possibility that A. brasilense modified with a chimeric trehalose biosynthetic gene from yeast could increase the biomass, grain yield and stress tolerance in other relevant crops.