Microbe-induced drought tolerance by ABA-mediated root architecture and epigenetic reprogramming

Khairiah M. Alwutayd, Anamika A. Rawat, Arsheed H. Sheikh, Marilia Almeida-Trapp, Alaguraj Veluchamy, Rewaa Jalal, Michael Karampelias, Katja Froehlich, Waad Alzaed, Naheed Tabassum, Thayssa Rabelo Schley, Anton R. Schäffner, Ihsanullah Daur, Maged M. Saad, Heribert Hirt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The use of beneficial microbes to mitigate drought stress tolerance of plants is of great potential albeit little understood. We show here that a root endophytic desert bacterium, Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190, enhances drought stress tolerance in Arabidopsis. Transcriptome and genetic analysis demonstrate that SA190-induced root morphogenesis and gene expression is mediated via the plant abscisic acid (ABA) pathway. Moreover, we demonstrate that SA190 primes the promoters of target genes in an epigenetic ABA-dependent manner. Application of SA190 priming on crops is demonstrated for alfalfa, showing enhanced performance under drought conditions. In summary, a single beneficial root bacterial strain can help plants to resist drought conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56754
JournalEMBO reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2023


  • ABA
  • drought stress
  • H3K4me3
  • microbiome
  • water use efficiency (WUE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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