Root-associated bacteria promote grapevine growth: from the laboratory to the field

Eleonora Rolli, Ramona Marasco, Stefano Saderi, Erika Corretto, Francesca Mapelli, Ameur Cherif, Sara Borin, Leonardo Valenti, Claudia Sorlini, Daniele Daffonchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Laboratory and greenhouse experiments have shown that root-associated bacteria have beneficial effects on grapevine growth; however, these effects have not been tested in the field. Here, we aimed to demonstrate whether bacteria of different geographical origins derived from different crop plants can colonize grapevine to gain a beneficial outcome for the plant leading to promote growth at the field scale. Methods: To link the ecological functions of bacteria to the promotion of plant growth, we sorted fifteen bacterial strains from a larger isolate collection to study in vitro Plant Growth Promoting (PGP) traits. We analysed the ability of these strains to colonise the root tissues of grapevine and Arabidopsis using green-fluorescent-protein-labelled strain derivatives and a cultivation independent approach. We assessed the ability of two subsets randomly chosen from the 15 selected strains to promote grapevine growth in two field-scale experiments in north and central Italy over two years. Parameters of plant vigour were measured during the vegetative season in de novo grafted vine cuttings and adult productive plants inoculated with the bacterial strains. Results: Beneficial bacteria rapidly and intimately colonized the rhizoplane and the root system of grapevine. In the field, plants inoculated with bacteria isolated from grapevine roots out-performed untreated plants. In both the tested vineyards, bacteria-promotion effects largely rely in the formation of an extended epigeal system endowed of longer shoots with larger diameters and more nodes than non-inoculated plants. Conclusions: PGP bacteria isolated in the laboratory can be successfully used to promote growth of grapevines in the field. The resulting larger canopy potentially increased the photosynthetic surface of the grapevine, promoting growth.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-382
Number of pages14
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 18 2016


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