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Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;9(2):435-44.

Isolation and characterization of hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria induced following exposure of soil to hydrogen gas and their impact on plant growth.

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1
Department of Biology, St. Mary's University, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 3C3.

Abstract

In many legumes, the nitrogen fixing root nodules produce H2 gas that diffuses into soil. It has been demonstrated that such exposure of soil to H2 can promote plant growth. To assess whether this may be due to H2-oxidizing microorganisms, bacteria were isolated from soil treated with H2 under laboratory conditions and from soils collected adjacent to H2 producing soybean nodules. Nineteen isolates of H2-oxidizing bacteria were obtained and all exhibited a half-saturation coefficient (Ks) for H2 of about 1 ml l(-1). The isolates were identified as Variovorax paradoxus, Flavobacterium johnsoniae and Burkholderia spp. using conventional microbiological tests and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Seventeen of the isolates enhanced (57-254%) root elongation of spring wheat seedlings. Using an Arabidopsis thaliana bioassay, plant biomass was increased by 11-27% when inoculated by one of four isolates of V. paradoxus or one isolate of Burkholderia that were selected for evaluation. The isolates of V. paradoxus found in both H2-treated soil and in soil adjacent to soybean nodules had the greatest impact on plant growth. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that H2-oxidizing bacteria in soils have plant growth promoting properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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