Nano titania aided clustering and adhesion of beneficial bacteria to plant roots to enhance crop growth and stress management

Sci Rep. 2015 May 13:5:10146. doi: 10.1038/srep10146.


A novel use of Titania nanoparticles as agents in the nano interface interaction between a beneficial plant growth promoting bacterium (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens UCMB5113) and oilseed rape plants (Brassica napus) for protection against the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicae is presented. Two different TiO2 nanoparticle material were produced by the Sol-Gel approach, one using the patented Captigel method and the other one applying TiBALDH precursor. The particles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering and nano particle tracking analysis. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the bacterium was living in clusters on the roots and the combined energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis revealed that titanium was present in these cluster formations. Confocal laser scanning microscopy further demonstrated an increased bacterial colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana roots and a semi-quantitative microscopic assay confirmed an increased bacterial adhesion to the roots. An increased amount of adhered bacteria was further confirmed by quantitative fluorescence measurements. The degree of infection by the fungus was measured and quantified by real-time-qPCR. Results showed that Titania nanoparticles increased adhesion of beneficial bacteria on to the roots of oilseed rape and protected the plants against infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria*
  • Crops, Agricultural / microbiology*
  • Crops, Agricultural / physiology*
  • Nanoparticles
  • Plant Roots / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / microbiology*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Titanium / metabolism*


  • titanium dioxide
  • Titanium