Reducing Nickel Toxicity in Fenugreek Using Beneficial Bacteria and GABA

Jenn Hoskins
15th May, 2024

Reducing Nickel Toxicity in Fenugreek Using Beneficial Bacteria and GABA

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Bahauddin Zakariya University found that combining GABA and rhizobacteria (RB) significantly improves fenugreek plant growth under nickel (Ni) stress
  • The combination treatment increased shoot and root lengths, fresh and dry weights, and chlorophyll content, enhancing overall plant health
  • This treatment also boosted photosynthetic rate, nutrient uptake, and reduced Ni accumulation in plants, suggesting a viable strategy for mitigating heavy metal toxicity in crops
Nickel (Ni) is a heavy metal that negatively impacts the growth and productivity of various crops by inducing oxidative stress and nutrient imbalance. Addressing this issue is crucial for sustainable agriculture. A recent study conducted by researchers at Bahauddin Zakariya University explored the combined effect of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and rhizobacteria (RB) on alleviating Ni toxicity in fenugreek plants[1]. Rhizobacteria are beneficial bacteria that colonize plant roots and promote growth by enhancing nutrient and water uptake. GABA, on the other hand, helps maintain osmotic balance and scavenges reactive oxygen species under stress conditions. The study aimed to evaluate the combined effect of RB and GABA in mitigating Ni toxicity, which had not been thoroughly explored before. In the study, fenugreek plants were subjected to four different treatments: control, A. fabrum (a type of RB), 0.40 mM GABA, and a combination of 0.40 mM GABA and RB. These treatments were applied under normal conditions (0 Ni) and Ni stress (80 mg Ni/kg soil). The results were promising, showing significant improvements in plant growth parameters under Ni toxicity when treated with the combination of RB and GABA. Under Ni stress, the combination treatment led to substantial increases in shoot length (~13%), shoot fresh weight (~47%), shoot dry weight (~47%), root length (~13%), root fresh weight (~60%), and root dry weight (~15%) compared to the control. Additionally, there was a significant enhancement in total chlorophyll (~14%), photosynthetic rate (~17%), stomatal CO2 concentration (~19%), and nutrient concentrations in leaves and roots, including nitrogen (~10% and ~37%), phosphorus (~18% and ~7%), and potassium (~11% and ~30%). The Ni concentration in plants also decreased significantly (~83% in leaves and ~49% in roots), confirming the effectiveness of the combined treatment in mitigating Ni toxicity. These findings align with previous research highlighting the potential of nanotechnology and plant growth-promoting bacteria in enhancing plant stress tolerance. For instance, nanomaterials have been shown to improve plant function under various stress conditions, including heavy metal toxicity, by modulating photosynthetic rate, redox homeostasis, and nutrient assimilation[2][3]. Similarly, previous studies have demonstrated the role of plant growth-promoting bacteria in protecting plants from heavy metal toxicity. Kluyvera ascorbata SUD165, for example, was found to protect canola and tomato plants from nickel toxicity by lowering stress ethylene levels rather than reducing nickel uptake[4]. The current study builds on these earlier findings by demonstrating the synergistic effect of GABA and RB in alleviating Ni toxicity. The combination of these two agents not only improved plant growth and photosynthetic efficiency but also enhanced nutrient uptake and reduced Ni accumulation in plants. This suggests that the combined use of GABA and RB could be a viable strategy for improving crop growth under heavy metal stress. The implications of these findings are significant for agricultural practices, environmental remediation efforts, nutritional security, and ecological impact. By improving the growth and productivity of crops under Ni toxicity, this approach could contribute to more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems. Further research is recommended to elucidate the underlying mechanisms, assess long-term effects, and determine the practical feasibility of using A. fabrum and GABA to improve growth in different crops under Ni toxicity. In conclusion, the study conducted by Bahauddin Zakariya University provides valuable insights into the potential of combining GABA and RB to mitigate Ni toxicity in crops. This innovative approach could pave the way for more effective and sustainable agricultural practices, particularly in areas affected by heavy metal contamination.

EnvironmentBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Unveiling the potential of A. fabrum and γ-aminobutyric acid for mitigation of nickel toxicity in fenugreek.

Published 14th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Review on interactions between nanomaterials and phytohormones: Novel perspectives and opportunities for mitigating environmental challenges.

3) Nanotechnology, a frontier in agricultural science, a novel approach in abiotic stress management and convergence with new age medicine-A review.

4) A plant growth-promoting bacterium that decreases nickel toxicity in seedlings.

Journal: Applied and environmental microbiology, Issue: Vol 64, Issue 10, Oct 1998

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