Letter | Published:

Enhanced plant growth by siderophores produced by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria

Nature volume 286, pages 885886 (28 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Specific strains of the Pseudomonas fluorescens-putida group have recently been used as seed inoculants on crop plants to promote growth and increase yields. These pseudomonads, termed plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), rapidly colonize plant roots of potato, sugar beet and radish, and cause statistically significant yield increases up to 144% in field tests1–5. These results prompted us to investigate the mechanism by which plant growth was enhanced. A previous study indicated that PGPR increase plant growth by antagonism to potentially deleterious rhizoplane fungi and bacteria, but the nature of this antagonism was not determined6. We now present evidence that PGPR exert their plant growth-promoting activity by depriving native microflora of iron. PGPR produce extracellular siderophores (microbial iron transport agents)7 which efficiently complex environmental iron, making it less available to certain native microflora.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720

    • Joseph W. Kloepper
    •  & Milton N. Schroth
  2. Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093

    • John Leong
    •  & Martin Teintze

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286885a0

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