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, 7 (5), e38122

Rhizobium Promotes Non-Legumes Growth and Quality in Several Production Steps: Towards a Biofertilization of Edible Raw Vegetables Healthy for Humans


Rhizobium Promotes Non-Legumes Growth and Quality in Several Production Steps: Towards a Biofertilization of Edible Raw Vegetables Healthy for Humans

Paula García-Fraile et al. PLoS One.


The biofertilization of crops with plant-growth-promoting microorganisms is currently considered as a healthy alternative to chemical fertilization. However, only microorganisms safe for humans can be used as biofertilizers, particularly in vegetables that are raw consumed, in order to avoid sanitary problems derived from the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the final products. In the present work we showed that Rhizobium strains colonize the roots of tomato and pepper plants promoting their growth in different production stages increasing yield and quality of seedlings and fruits. Our results confirmed those obtained in cereals and alimentary oil producing plants extending the number of non-legumes susceptible to be biofertilized with rhizobia to those whose fruits are raw consumed. This is a relevant conclusion since safety of rhizobia for human health has been demonstrated after several decades of legume inoculation ensuring that they are optimal bacteria for biofertilization.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Neighbour-joining phylogenetic tree based on concatenated recA and atpD gene sequences (520 and 500 nt, respectively) showing the position of strains PETP01 and TPV08. Bootstrap values calculated for 1000 replications are indicated.
Bar, 1 nt substitution per 100 nt.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Confocal laser scanning micrographs of tomato and pepper seedling roots 9 days after inoculation with GFP-tagged cells of TPV08 and PETP01 strains.
Images obtained in A, D, G and J by transmitted light in bright field mode, B, E, H and K in epifluorescence and C, F, I and L in projection. A–C: inoculation of TPV08 strain in tomato. D–F: Inoculation of PETP01 strain in tomato. G–I: inoculation of TPV08 in pepper. J–L: inoculation of PETP01 in pepper. The micrographs show the ability of strains PETP01 and TPV08 to colonize the roots surfaces. Bar, 25 µm.

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