Copper-resistant bacteria reduces oxidative stress and uptake of copper in lentil plants: potential for bacterial bioremediation

Faisal Islam, Tahira Yasmeen, Qasim Ali, Muhammad Mubin, Shafaqat Ali, Muhammad Saleem Arif, Sabir Hussain, Muhammad Riaz, Farhat Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


For effective microbe-assisted bioremediation, metal-resistant plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) must facilitate plant growth by restricting excess metal uptake in plants, leading to prevent its bio-amplification in the ecosystem. The aims of our study were to isolate and characterize copper (Cu)-resistant PGPB from waste water receiving contaminated soil. In addition, we investigated the phytotoxic effect of copper on the lentil plants inoculated with copper-resistant bacteria Providencia vermicola, grown in copper-contaminated soil. Copper-resistant P. vermicola showed multiple plant growth promoting characteristics, when used as a seed inoculant. It protected the lentil plants from copper toxicity with a considerable increase in root and shoot length, plant dry weight and leaf area. A notable increase in different gas exchange characteristics such as A, E, Ci, gs, and A/E, as well as increase in N and P accumulation were also recorded in inoculated plants as compared to un-inoculated copper stressed plants. In addition, leaf chlorophyll content, root nodulation, number of pods, 1,000 seed weight were also higher in inoculated plants as compared with non-inoculated ones. Anti-oxidative defense mechanism improved significantly via elevated expression of reactive oxygen species -scavenging enzymes including ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and guaiacol peroxidase with alternate decrease in malondialdehyde and H2O2 contents, reduced electrolyte leakage, proline, and total phenolic contents suggesting that inoculation of P. vermicola triggered heavy metals stress-related defense pathways under copper stress. Overall, the results demonstrated that the P. vermicola seed inoculation confer heavy metal stress tolerance in lentil plant which can be used as a potent biotechnological tool to cope with the problems of copper pollution in crop plants for better yield.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-233
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidation
  • Cu-resistant bacteria
  • Lentil
  • Metal uptake
  • Plant growth


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