Volume 29 (2014) Issue 3 Pages 303-313
Several Rhodopseudomonas palustris strains have been isolated from rice paddy fields in Taiwan by combining the Winogradsky column method and molecular marker detection. These isolates were initially screened by employing seed germination and seedling vigor assays to evaluate their potential as inoculants. To fulfill the demand in the present farming system for reducing the application of chemical fertilizers, we assessed the plant growth-promoting effects of the R. palustris YSC3, YSC4, and PS3 inoculants on Brassica rapa chinensis (Chinese cabbage) cultivated under a half quantity of fertilizer. The results obtained showed that supplementation with approximately 4.0×106 CFU g−1 soil of the PS3 inoculant at half the amount of fertilizer consistently produced the same plant growth potential as 100% fertility, and also increased the nitrogen use efficiency of the applied fertilizer nutrients. Furthermore, we noted that the plant growth-promotion rate elicited by PS3 was markedly higher with old seeds than with new seeds, suggesting it has the potential to boost the development of seedlings that were germinated from carry-over seeds of poor quality. These beneficial traits suggest that the PS3 isolate may serve as a potential PGPR inoculant for integrated nutrient management in agriculture.