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The Pattern of Secreted Molecules During the Co-Inoculation of Alfalfa Plants With Sinorhizobium meliloti and Delftia sp. strain JD2: An Interaction That Improves Plant Yield

February 2015 , Volume 28 , Number  2
Pages  134 - 142

M. A. Morel,1 C. Cagide,1 M. A. Minteguiaga,1 M. S. Dardanelli,2 and S. Castro-Sowinski1,3

1Molecular Microbiology, Clemente Estable Institute of Biological Research, Montevideo, Uruguay; 2Department of Molecular Biology, FCEFQYN, Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina; 3Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University of the Republic, Igua 4225, Montevideo, Uruguay

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Accepted 15 October 2014.

Delftia sp. strain JD2 is a plant-growth-promoting bacterium that enhances legume nodulation and growth, acting as nodule-assisting bacterium during the co-inoculation of plants with rhizobial strains. In this work, we evaluate how the co-inoculation of alfalfa with Sinorhizobium meliloti U143 and JD2 increases plant yield under greenhouse conditions and we analyze the pattern of secreted bioactive compounds which may be involved in the microbe-plant communication. The chemical composition of extracellular cultures (EC) produced in hydroponic conditions (collected 4, 7, and 14 days after bacterial treatment) were characterized using different chromatographic and elucidation techniques. In addition, we assessed the effect that plant irrigation with cell-free EC, produced during co-inoculation experiments, would have on plant yield. Results showed increased alfalfa shoot and root matter, suggesting that U143-JD2 co-inoculation might be a beneficial agricultural practice. The pattern of secreted secondary metabolites among treatments showed important differences. Qualitative and quantitative changes in phenolic compounds (including flavonoids), organic acids, and volatile compounds were detected during the early microbe-plant interaction, suggesting that the production of some molecules positively affects the microbe-plant association. Finally, the irrigation of co-inoculated plants with cell-free EC under greenhouse conditions increased plant yield over agronomic expectations. This effect might be attributed to the bioactive secondary metabolites incorporated during the irrigation.

© 2015 The American Phytopathological Society