Durum wheat stress tolerance induced by endophyte pantoea agglomerans with genes contributing to plant functions and secondary metabolite arsenal

Hafsa Cherif-Silini, Bathini Thissera, Ali Chenari Bouket, Nora Saadaoui, Allaoua Silini, Manal Eshelli, Faizah N. Alenezi, Armelle Vallat, Lenka Luptakova, Bilal Yahiaoui, Semcheddine Cherrad, Sebastien Vacher, Mostafa E. Rateb, Lassaad Belbahri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


In the arid region Bou-Saâda at the South of Algeria, durum wheat Triticum durum L. cv Waha production is severely threatened by abiotic stresses, mainly drought and salinity. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) hold promising prospects towards sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture. Using habitat-adapted symbiosis strategy, the PGPR Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa was recovered from wheat roots sampled in Bou-Saâda, conferred alleviation of salt stress in durum wheat plants and allowed considerable growth in this unhostile environment. Strain Pa showed growth up to 35 °C temperature, 5-10 pH range, and up to 30% polyethylene glycol (PEG), as well as 1 M salt concentration tolerance. Pa strain displayed pertinent plant growth promotion (PGP) features (direct and indirect) such as hormone auxin biosynthesis, production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, and ammonia and phosphate solubilization. PGPR features were stable over wide salt concentrations (0-400 mM). Pa strain was also able to survive in seeds, in the non-sterile and sterile wheat rhizosphere, and was shown to have an endophytic life style. Phylogenomic analysis of strain Pa indicated that Pantoea genus suffers taxonomic imprecision which blurs species delimitation and may have impacted their practical use as biofertilizers. When applied to plants, strain Pa promoted considerable growth of wheat seedlings, high chlorophyll content, lower accumulation of proline, and favored K+ accumulation in the inoculated plants when compared to Na+ in control non-inoculated plants. Metabolomic profiling of strain Pa under one strain many compounds (OSMAC) conditions revealed a wide diversity of secondary metabolites (SM) with interesting salt stress alleviation and PGP activities. All these findings strongly promote the implementation of Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa as an efficient biofertilizer in wheat plants culture in arid and salinity-impacted regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3989
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2019


  • Abiotic stress
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Durum wheat
  • PGPR
  • Pantoea agglomerans
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Metabolomics
  • Dereplication
  • Wheat microbiome


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