The mechanisms by which seed-applied bacteria colonize the rhizosphere in the absence of percolating water are poorly understood. Without mass flow, transport of bacteria by growing roots or soil animals, particularly nematodes may be important. We used a sand-based microcosm system to investigate the ability of three species of nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans, Acrobeloides thornei and a Cruznema sp.) to promote rhizosphere colonization by four strains of beneficial rhizobacteria. In nearly all cases, rhizosphere colonization was substantially increased by the presence of nematodes, irrespective of bacterial or nematode species. Our results suggest that nematodes are important vectors for bacteria rhizosphere colonization in the absence of percolating water. (C) 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- rhizosphere colonization
- seed-applied bacteria
- MODIFIED PSEUDOMONAS-FLUORESCENS