Salt stress is one of the devastating factors that hampers growth and productivity of soybean. Use of Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes to improve salt tolerance in soybean has not been thoroughly explored yet.

Therefore, we observed the response of hydroponically grown soybean plants, inoculated with halotolerant P. pseudoalcaligenes (SRM-16) and Bacillus subtilis (SRM-3) under salt stress. In vitro testing of 44 bacterial isolates revealed that four isolates showed high salt tolerance. Among them, B. subtilis and P. pseudoalcaligenes showed ACC deaminase activity, siderophore and indole acetic acid (IAA) production and were selected for the current study. We determined that 106 cells/mL of B. subtilis and P. pseudoalcaligenes was sufficient to induce tolerance in soybean against salinity stress (100 mM NaCl) in hydroponics by enhancing plant biomass, relative water content and osmolytes. Upon exposure of salinity stress, P. pseudoalcaligenes inoculated soybean plants showed tolerance by the increased activities of defense related system such as ion transport, antioxidant enzymes, proline and MDA content in shoots and roots. The Na+ concentration in the soybean plants was increased in the salt stress; while, bacterial priming significantly reduced the Na+ concentration in the salt stressed soybean plants. However, the antagonistic results were observed for K+ concentration. Additionally, soybean primed with P. pseudoalcaligenes and exposed to 100 mM NaCl showed a new protein band of 28 kDa suggesting that P. pseudoalcaligenes effectively reduced salt stress. Our results showed that salinity tolerance was more pronounced in P. pseudoalcaligenes as compared to B. subtilis. However, a detailed study at molecular level to interpret the mechanism by which P. pseudoalcaligenes alleviates salt stress in soybean plants need to be explored.





Figure 1: Phylogenetic analyses of a) Pseudomonas pseudoalgaligens SRM-16 and b) Bacillus subtilus SRM-3 on the basis of 16srRNA gene sequence analysis.