2017 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 14-23
The compatibility of strains is crucial for formulating bioinoculants that promote plant growth. We herein assessed the compatibility of four potential bioinoculants isolated from potato roots and tubers (Sphingomonas sp. T168, Streptomyces sp. R170, Streptomyces sp. R181, and Methylibium sp. R182) that were co-inoculated in order to improve plant growth. We screened these strains using biochemical tests, and the results obtained showed that R170 had the highest potential as a bioinoculant, as indicated by its significant ability to produce plant growth-promoting substances, its higher tolerance against NaCl (2%) and AlCl3 (0.01%), and growth in a wider range of pH values (5.0–10.0) than the other three strains. Therefore, the compatibility of R170 with other strains was tested in combined inoculations, and the results showed that the co-inoculation of R170 with T168 or R182 synergistically increased plant weight over un-inoculated controls, indicating the compatibility of strains based on the increased production of plant growth promoters such as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and siderophores as well as co-localization on roots. However, a parallel test using strain R181, which is the same Streptomyces genus as R170, showed incompatibility with T168 and R182, as revealed by weaker plant growth promotion and a lack of co-localization. Collectively, our results suggest that compatibility among bacterial inoculants is important for efficient plant growth promotion, and that R170 has potential as a useful bioinoculant, particularly in combined inoculations that contain compatible bacteria.