Stage-dependent concomitant microbial fortification improves soil nutrient status, plant growth, antioxidative defense system and gene expression in rice

Dhananjaya Pratap Singh*, Vivek Singh, Renu Shukla, Pramod Sahu, Ratna Prabha, Amrita Gupta, Birinchi K. Sarma, Vijai K. Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Stage-dependent concomitant fortification of rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties PB1612 and CO51 with microbial inoculants Trichoderma asperellum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seed coating, seedling root inoculation and soil application enhanced growth, activated antioxidant enzymes and modulated defence-related genes in plants. Microbial inoculants improved shoot height, tiller numbers, fresh weight and dry biomass. Co-inoculation was more impactful in enhancing plant growth and development as compared to single inoculation. Single and co-inoculation improved organic carbon (OC) and N, P and K content in the soil substantially. Mean values between control and co-inoculation varied significantly for OC in PB1612 (p0.001) and CO51 (p0.019) and phosphorus content in PB1612 (p0.044) and CO51 (p0.021). Microbial inoculation enhanced soil nutrients and increased their bioavailability for the plants. Total polyphenolics, flavonoids and protein content increased in the leaves following microbial inoculation. Enhanced non-enzymatic antioxidant parameters (ABTS, DPPH, Fe-ion reducing power and Fe-ion chelation) was found in microbe inoculated rice reflecting high free radical scavenging activity in polyphenolics-rich leaf extracts. Increased enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GR), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), peroxidase (PO), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT) showed improved ROS scavenging in rice plants having co-inoculation. Over-expression of PAL, cCuZn-SOD and CAT genes in microbial inoculated rice plants was recorded. The study concludes that plant stage-wise concomitant fortification by microbial inoculants could play multi-pronged manifestations at physiological, biochemical and molecular level in rice to positively influence growth, development and defense attributes in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126538
JournalMicrobiological Research
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Concomitant inoculation
  • Gene expression
  • Microbial inoculants
  • Plant growth promotion
  • Pseudomonas
  • Soil fertility
  • Trichoderma


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