Mangrove seedlings were treated with a mixture of two bacterial species, the slow-growing, N(2)-fixing bacterium Phyllobacterium sp. and the fast-growing, phosphate-solubilizing bacterium Bacillus licheniformis, both isolated from the rhizosphere from black, white, and red mangroves of a semiarid zone. Nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilization increased when the mixture was used compared to the effects observed when adding individual cultures, notwithstanding that there was no increase in bacterial multiplication under these conditions. Inoculation of black mangrove seedlings in artificial seawater showed the mixture performed somewhat better than inoculation of the individual bacterium; more leaves were developed and higher levels of (15)N were incorporated into the leaves, although the total nitrogen level decreased. This study demonstrates that interactions between individual components of the rhizosphere of mangroves should be considered when evaluating these bacteria as plant growth promoters.