Root bacterial endophytes confer drought resistance and enhance expression and activity of a vacuolar H+‐pumping pyrophosphatase in pepper plants

G. Vigani, E. Rolli, R. Marasco, M. Dell'Orto, G. Michoud, A. Soussi, N. Raddadi, S. Borin, C. Sorlini, G. Zocchi, D. Daffonchio
Environmental microbiology, (2018)

Root bacterial endophytes confer drought resistance and enhance expression and activity of a vacuolar H+‐pumping pyrophosphatase in pepper plants

Keywords

Beneficial microbes, Drought stress, Vacuolar proton pumps, Endophytes, Plant growth promoting bacteria, V-PPase, Plant-microbe interaction, Pepper

Abstract

​It has been previously shown that the transgenic overexpression of the plant root vacuolar proton pumps H+‐ATPase (V‐ATPase) and H+‐PPase (V‐PPase) confer tolerance to drought. Since plant‐root endophytic bacteria can also promote drought tolerance, we hypothesize that such promotion can be associated to the enhancement of the host vacuolar proton pumps expression and activity. To test this hypothesis, we selected two endophytic bacteria endowed with an array of in vitro plant growth promoting traits. Their genome sequences confirmed the presence of traits previously shown to confer drought resistance to plants, such as the synthesis of nitric oxide and of organic volatile organic compounds. We used the two strains on pepper (Capsicuum annuum L.) because of its high sensitivity to drought. Under drought conditions, both strains stimulated a larger root system and enhanced the leaves' photosynthetic activity. By testing the expression and activity of the vacuolar proton pumps, H+‐ATPase (V‐ATPase) and H+‐PPase (V‐PPase), we found that bacterial colonization enhanced V‐PPase only. We conclude that the enhanced expression and activity of V‐PPase can be favoured by the colonization of drought‐tolerance‐inducing bacterial endophytes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Code

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.14272

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