Novel bacillus cereus strain, alt1, enhance growth and strengthens the antioxidant system of soybean under cadmium stress

Atlaw Anbelu Sahile, Muhammad Aaqil Khan, Muhammad Hamayun, Muhammad Imran, Sang Mo Kang, In Jung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cadmium stress significantly decreases agricultural productivity worldwide. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are eco-friendly and inexpensive tool for mitigating heavy metal stress in crops. We isolated rhizospheric bacteria and screened them for various plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits as well as Cd tolerance. Only 6 bacterial isolates out of 55 assessed showed multiple PGP traits in response to different Cd concentrations. The Bacillus cereus ALT1 strain showed high tolerance to increased Cd amounts in the culture medium, while secreting indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and organic acids into the culture medium. High Cd concentrations (0.7 mM, 1.4 mM, and 2.1 mM) reduced soybean shoot and root length, root/shoot fresh and dry weight, as well as chlorophyll content; however, inoculation with the bacterial isolate ALT1 mitigated Cd stress and enhanced both soybean growth parameters and chlorophyll content. It also decreased abscisic acid (ABA) amounts, enhanced salicylic acid (SA) production, and promoted antioxidant response by increasing total proteins (TP) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), while decreasing glutathione (GSH) content, lipid peroxidation (LPO), peroxidase (POD), superoxide anion (SOA), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in soybean plants. In addition, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) showed that soybean plants treated with the bacterial isolate ALT1 enhanced K uptake and decreased Cd amounts in comparison to control plants. The present study reveals that Cd-tolerant bacterial isolate ALT1 can alleviate Cd toxicity on plants by increasing their growth, thus imposing itself as an eco-friendly bio-fertilizer under Cd stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number404
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Bacillus cereus ALT1
  • Cadmium stress
  • Hormonal and antioxidant regulation
  • Soybean


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