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Modulation effect of inoculated Raoultella planticola on glycinebetaine metabolism in two maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars differing in drought tolerance

Gaili Niu, Naheeda Begum, Wei Gou, Peng Zheng, Cheng Qin, Lixin Zhang and Abd Ei-Fatah Abomohra

A comprehensive investigation was carried out to evaluate the changes in seed germination and glycine betaine (GB) synthesis in drought stressed maize (Zea mays L.) in response to Raoultella planticola treatment. Two maize cultivars were used in our experiment, Zheng Dan 958 (drought tolerant) and Jun Dan 20 (drought sensitive). Under drought stress, seed germination of both cultivars was drastically inhibited. However, germination rate increased, and germination period was shortened with with R. planticola Radicle length and plumules were improved, while no significant effects on hypocotyl length. Maize seedlings inoculated with R. planticola increased the level  of biosynthetic pathways of glycine betaine (GB) and choline (Cho). The activities of some key enzymes involved in GB synthesis, such as phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEAMT), choline monooxygenase (CMO) and betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH), were enhanced resulting in net increase in GB content. R. planticola treatment showed a marked expression of CMO, BADH and PEAMT. In conclusion, R. planticola inoculation reduced the negative effects of drought stress  by regulating GB synthesis in the seedlings of both maize cultivars under drought stress.

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