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Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 31;9(1):1044. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38026-z.

Enhancement of vitality and activity of a plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) by atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma.

Author information

1
Plasma Bioscience Research Center, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Republic of Korea.
2
Plasma Technology Research Center, National Fusion Research Institute, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-Do, 54004, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, 05029, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Bioresources and food science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul, 05029, Republic of Korea.
5
Plasma Bioscience Research Center, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Republic of Korea. ehchoi@kw.ac.kr.
6
Department of Electrical and Biological Physics, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Republic of Korea. ehchoi@kw.ac.kr.
7
Plasma Bioscience Research Center, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Republic of Korea. gyungp@kw.ac.kr.
8
Department of Electrical and Biological Physics, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Republic of Korea. gyungp@kw.ac.kr.

Abstract

The inconsistent vitality and efficiency of plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) are technical limitations in the application of PGPB as biofertilizer. To improve these disadvantages, we examined the potential of micro Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) plasma to enhance the vitality and functional activity of a PGPB, Bacillus subtilis CB-R05. Bacterial multiplication and motility were increased after plasma treatment, and the level of a protein involved in cell division was elevated in plasma treated bacteria. Rice seeds inoculated with plasma treated bacteria showed no significant change in germination, but growth and grain yield of rice plants were significantly enhanced. Rice seedlings infected with plasma treated bacteria showed elevated tolerance to fungal infection. SEM analysis demonstrated that plasma treated bacteria colonized more densely in the broader area of rice plant roots than untreated bacteria. The level of IAA (Indole-3-Acetic Acid) and SA (Salicylic Acid) hormone was higher in rice plants infected with plasma treated than with untreated bacteria. Our results suggest that plasma can accelerate bacterial growth and motility, possibly by increasing the related gene expression, and the increased bacterial vitality improves colonization within plant roots and elevates the level of phytohormones, leading to the enhancement of plant growth, yield, and tolerance to disease.

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