Multiple impacts of the plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Variovorax paradoxus 5C-2 on nutrient and ABA relations of Pisum sativum
There are scarce data connecting water relations in Azospirillum-inoculated wheat suffering drought during anthesis with the yield and mineral content of grains. Azospirillum brasilense Sp245-inoculated seeds of Triticum aestivum ‘Pro INTA Oasis’ were sown in nonirrigated and control plots. Water potential, water content, and relative water content were determined on flag leaves. Plant water status was calculated from pressure–volume curves. At maturity, grain yield and its components were determined. P, Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Cu, and Zn were determined in dried grains. Even though the cultivar underwent osmotic adjustment, significantly higher water content, relative water content, water potential, apoplastic water fraction, and lower cell wall modulus of elasticity values were obtained in Azospirillum-inoculated plants suffering drought. Grain yield loss to drought was 26.5% and 14.1% in noninoculated and Azospirilluminoculated plants, respectively. Grain Mg and K diminished in nonirrigated, noninoculated plots. However, grains harvested from Azospirillum-inoculated plants had significantly higher Mg, K, and Ca than noninoculated plants. Neither drought nor inoculation changed grain P, Cu, Fe, and Zn contents. A better water status and an additional “elastic adjustment” in Azospirillum-inoculated wheat plants could be crucial in promoting higher grain yield and mineral quality at harvest, particularly when drought strikes during anthesis.