Early changes in root characteristics of maize (Zea mays) following seed inoculation with the PGPR Azospirillum lipoferum CRT1

Hamdy El Zemrany*, Sonia Czarnes, Paul D. Hallett, Serge Alamercery, Ren Bally, Lucile Jocteur Monrozier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of direct inoculation of seeds with the plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Azospirillum lipoferum CRT1 was assessed on maize (Zea mays) grown for 35 days after sowing (d.a.s.) in controlled conditions (greenhouse) in a luvisol soil from south-eastern France. WhinRhizo (R) software was used to describe the following changes in the root system morphology for each plant: distribution and average root diameter, root surface and the number of tips. The stress at breakage and stiffness of the roots in tension were also determined. Evaluation of biochemical components of roots was achieved by direct Attenuated Total Reflectance (or reflection) (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) on root section. Inoculated roots exhibited significantly larger numbers of tips and extending surface to rhizosphere when compared to controls. Measured mechanical parameters of inoculated roots showed a slight increase in rupture stress up to the largest diameter (1.2 mm) when compared to controls. Stiffness (Young's modulus) values were nearly constant for inoculated plants with higher values than for non-inoculated plants at day 26 and day 35. Using Principal Components Analysis of ATR-FTIR profiles, the polysaccharide enrichment of inoculated roots compared to controls was found at day 35. Noticeable absorbance at wavenumber specific to aromatic ether (lignin) was observed in control plants. All these data had a pattern of immature root properties, when maize was inoculated with Azospirillum lipoferum CRT1. Observed modifications of root development are possibly conducive to unseen beneficial effects, like water retention, resistance to mechanical stress, or root litter quality. Studies on more mature plants are required to assess if the differences between inoculated and control plants would persist or become accentuated with time until harvest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Azospirillum
  • spectroscopy
  • mechanical-properties
  • water status
  • maize
  • plant-cell wall
  • FTIR
  • soil
  • rhizosphere
  • infrared microspectroscopy
  • lignification
  • architecture
  • root mechanical test
  • root system architecture
  • growth


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