Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 44 (1) Feb. 2021 / JTAS-2111-2020


Effectiveness of Bioinoculants Bacillus cereus and Trichoderma asperellum as Oil Palm Seedlings Growth Promoters

Tuan Hassan Tuan Muhammad Syafiq, Syd Ali Nusaibah and Mohd Yusop Rafii

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 44, Issue 1, February 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjtas.44.1.09

Published: 24 Febuary 2021

In the establishment of oil palm seedlings, apart from the application of adequate amount of fertilizers, other sustainable plant nutrient sources are known to have the potential in enhancing vegetative growth and improve plants’ resistance against pests and diseases. The application of plant growth promoters is known to contribute towards sustaining healthy plant growth leading to strong plant defense mechanisms. The present study was conducted to determine plant growth promotion potentials of bacterium, Bacillus cereus (UPM15) and fungus Trichoderma asperellum (UPM16). Isolates B. cereus and T. asperellum were assessed on their effectiveness as plant growth promoters for oil palm seedlings. Plant growth-promoting potentials were evaluated in terms of their ability to produce indole acetic acid (IAA), a naturally occurring plant hormone of the auxin class, iron-chelating compounds or siderophores, and phosphate solubilisation, considered to be one of the most important traits associated with plant phosphate nutrition. A series of treatments was applied to establish the potential of B. cereus and T. asperellum as microbial inoculants in singles and mixed applications in an in vivo nursery study. The ability to solubilize precipitated phosphate and to produce siderophores was positively demonstrated by T. asperellum. Both B. cereus and T. asperellum were capable of producing IAA. The results showed that the former significantly contributed towards growth enhancement of roots and the later in growth promotion of aerial parts of oil palm seedlings. Mixture of these isolates yielded good vegetative growth. The study revealed the benefits of microbial inoculants that extended beyond their capacity as biofertilizers.

  • Adriano, D. C. (2003). Trace elements in terrestrial environments: Biogeochemistry bioavailability and risks of metals (2nd ed.). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-21510-5

  • Alexander, D. B., & Zuberer, D. A. (1991). Use of chrome azurol S reagents to evaluate siderophore production by rhizosphere bacteria. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 12(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00369386

  • Anuar, E. N., Nulit, R., & Idris, A. S. (2015). Growth promoting effects of endophytic fungus Phlebia GanoEF3 on oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) seedlings. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 17(1), 135-141.

  • Bünemann, E. K., Oberson, A., & Frossard, E. (Eds.). (2010). Phosphorus in action: Biological processes in soil phosphorus cycling. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15271-9

  • Cawoy, H., Bettiol, W., Fickers, P., & Ongena, M. (2011). Bacillus-based biological control of plant diseases. https://www.intechopen.com/books/pesticides-in-the-modern-world-pesticides-use-and-management/bacillus-based-biological-control-of-plant-diseases

  • Chen, Z. H., Chen, L. J., & Wu, Z. J. (2012). Relationships among persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis and Cowpea trypsin inhibitor proteins, microbial properties and enzymatic activities in rhizosphere soil after repeated cultivation with transgenic cotton. Applied Soil Ecology, 53, 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.10.019

  • Chu, B. C., Garcia-Herrero, A., Johanson, T. H., Krewulak, K. D., Lau, C. K., Peacock, R. S., Slavinskaya, Z., & Vogel, H. J. (2010). Siderophore uptake in bacteria and the battle for iron with the host; a bird’s eye view. Biometals, 23(4), 601-611. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10534-010-9361-x

  • Dawwam, G. E., Elbeltagy, A., Emara, H. M., Abbas, I. H., & Hassan, M. M. (2013). Beneficial effect of plant growth promoting bacteria isolated from the roots of potato plant. Annals of Agricultural Sciences, 58(2), 195-201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aoas.2013.07.007

  • Encarnação, T., Burrows, H. D., Pais, A. C., Campos, M. G., & Kremer, A. (2012). Effect of N and P on the uptake of magnesium and iron and on the production of carotenoids and chlorophyll by the microalgae Nannochloropsis sp.. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 2, 824-832.

  • Ghasemian, V., & Ghalavand, A. (2010). The effect of iron, zinc and manganese on quality and quantity of soybean seed. Journal of Phytology, 2(11), 73-79.

  • Glickmann, E., & Dessaux, Y. (1995). A critical examination of the specificity of the Salkowski reagent for indolic compounds produced by phytopathogenic bacteria. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 61(2), 793-796. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.61.2.793-796.1995

  • Gordon, S. A., & Weber, R. P. (1951). Colorimetric estimation of indoleacetic acid. Plant Physiology, 26(1), 192-195. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.26.1.192

  • Grotz, N., & Guerinot, M. L. (2006). Molecular aspects of Cu, Fe and Zn homeostasis in plants. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Cell Research, 1763(7), 595-608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2006.05.014

  • Harman, G. E., Howell, C. R., Viterbo, A., Chet, I., & Lorito, M. (2004). Trichoderma species-opportunistic, avirulent plant symbionts. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 2(1), 43-56. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro797

  • Hermosa, R., Viterbo, A., Chet, I., & Monte, E. (2012). Plant-beneficial effects of Trichoderma and of its genes. Microbiology, 158(1), 17-25. https://doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.052274-0

  • Husen, E. (2003). Screening of soil bacteria for plant growth activities in vitro. Indonesia Journal of Agriculture Science, 4(1), 27-31. https://doi.org/10.21082/ijas.v4n1.2003.p27-31

  • Izzati, M. Z. N. A., & Abdullah, F. (2008). Disease suppression in Ganoderma-infected oil palm seedlings treated with Trichoderma harzianum. Plant Protection Science, 44(3), 101-107. https://doi.org/10.17221/23/2008-PPS

  • Jones, D. L., & Oburger, E. (2011). Solubilization of phosphorus by soil microorganisms. In E. K. Bünemann, A. Oberson, & E. Frossard (Eds.), Phosphorus in action (pp. 169-198). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15271-9_7

  • Kang, S. C., Ha, C. G., Lee, T. G., & Maheshwari, D. K. (2002). Solubilization of insoluble inorganic phosphates by a soil-inhabiting fungus Fomitopsis sp. PS102. Current Science, 82(4), 439-442.

  • Khan, M. N., Mobin, M., Abbas, Z. K., & Alamri, S. A. (2018). Fertilizers and their contaminants in soils, surface and groundwater. Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, 5, 225-240. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809665-9.09888-8

  • Khan, S., Cao, Q., Zheng, Y. M., Huang, Y. Z., & Zhu, Y. G. (2008). Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environmental Pollution, 152(3), 686-692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2007.06.056

  • Maheswar, N. U., & Sathiyavani, G. (2012). Solubilization of phosphate by Bacillus sp., from groundnut rhizosphere (Arachishypogaea L.). Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 4(8), 4007-4011.

  • Maslin, P., & Maier, R. M. (2000). Rhamnolipid-enhanced mineralization of phenanthrene in organic-metal co-contaminated soils. Bioremediation Journal, 4(4), 295-308. https://doi.org/10.1080/10889860091114266

  • Mehta, S., & Nautiyal, C. S. (2001). An efficient method for qualitative screening of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. Current Microbiology, 43(1), 51-56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002840010259

  • Musa, H., Nusaibah, S. A., & Khairulmazmi, A. (2018). Assessment on Trichoderma spp. mixture as a potential biocontrol agent of Ganoderma boninense infected oil palm seedlings. Journal of Oil Palm Research, 30(3), 403-415. https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2018.0035

  • Naher, L., Yusuf, U. K., Siddiquee, S., Ferdous, J., & Rahman, M. A. (2012). Effect of media on growth and antagonistic activity of selected Trichoderma strains against Ganoderma. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 6(48), 7449‒7453. https://doi.org/10.5897/AJMR12.1216

  • Nolan, B. T., Hitt, K. J., & Ruddy, B. C. (2002). Probability of nitrate contamination of recently recharged groundwaters in the conterminous United States. Environmental Science and Technology, 36(10), 2138-2145. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0113854

  • Ntow, W. J., Gijzen, H. J., Kelderman, P., & Drechsel, P. (2006). Farmer perceptions and pesticide use practices in vegetable production in Ghana. Pest Management Science, 62(4), 356-365. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.1178

  • Nusaibah, S. A., Saad, G., & Tan, G. H. (2017). Antagonistic efficacy of Trichoderma harzianum and Bacillus cereus against Ganoderma disease of oil palm via dip, place and drench (DPD) artificial inoculation technique. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 19(2), 299-306. https://doi.org/10.17957/IJAB/15.0280

  • Pereira, L. D. M., Pereira, E. D. M., Revolti, L. T. M., Zingaretti, S. M., & Môro, G. V. (2015). Seed quality, chlorophyll content index and leaf nitrogen levels in maize inoculated with Azospirillum brasilense. Revista Ciência Agronômica, 46(3), 630-637. https://doi.org/10.5935/1806-6690.20150047

  • Pradhan, N., & Sukla, L. B. (2006). Solubilization of inorganic phosphates by fungi isolated from agriculture soil. African Journal of Biotechnology, 5(10), 850-854.

  • Qi, W., & Zhao, L. (2013). Study of the siderophore-producing Trichoderma asperellum Q1 on cucumber growth promotion under salt stress. Journal of Basic Microbiology, 53(4), 355-364. https://doi.org/10.1002/jobm.201200031

  • Salman, J. M., Njoku, V. O., & Hameed, B. H. (2011). Batch and fixed-bed adsorption of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid onto oil palm frond activated carbon. Chemical Engineering Journal, 174(1), 33-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2011.08.024

  • Shoresh, M., Yedidia, I., & Chet, I. (2005). Involvement of jasmonic acid/ethylene signaling pathway in the systemic resistance induced in cucumber by Trichoderma asperellum T203. Phytopathology, 95(1), 76-84. https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-95-0076

  • Simon, S., Kubeš, M., Baster, P., Robert, S., Dobrev, P. I., Friml, J., Petrášek, J., & Zažímalová, E. (2013). Defining the selectivity of processes along the auxin response chain: a study using auxin analogues. New Phytologist, 200(4), 1034-1048. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.12437

  • Triveni, S., Prasanna, R., Shukla, L., & Saxena, A. K. (2013). Evaluating the biochemical traits of novel Trichoderma-based biofilms for use as plant growth-promoting inoculants. Annals of Microbiology, 63(3), 1147-1156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13213-012-0573-x

  • Vinale, F., Sivasithamparam, K., Ghisalberti, E. L., Marra, R., Barbetti, M. J., Li, H., Woo, S. L., & Lorito, M. (2008). A novel role for Trichoderma secondary metabolites in the interactions with plants. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, 72(1-3), 80-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmpp.2008.05.005

  • Wolfe, A. H., & Patz, J. A. (2002). Reactive nitrogen and human health: Acute and long-term implications. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 31(2), 120-125. https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-31.2.120

  • Wuana, R. A. & Okieimen, F. E. (2011). Heavy metals in contaminated soils: A review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2011, 402647. https://doi.org/10.5402/2011/402647

  • Yedidia, I., Shoresh, M., Kerem, Z., Benhamou, N., Kapulnik, Y., & Chet, I. (2003). Concomitant induction of systemic resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans in cucumber by Trichoderma asperellum (T-203) and accumulation of phytoalexins. Applied Journal of Environmental Microbiology, 69(12), 7343-7353. https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.69.12.7343-7353.2003

  • Zaiton, S., Sariah, M., & Ahmad, Z. A. M. (2008). Effect of endophytic bacteria on growth and suppression of Ganoderma infection in oil palm. International Journal of Agriculture Biology, 10(2), 127-132.

  • Zhao, J. L., Zhou, L. G., & Wu, J. Y. (2010). Promotion of Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy root growth and tanshinone production by polysaccharide–protein fractions of plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Bacillus cereus. Process Biochemistry, 45(9), 1517-1522. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procbio.2010.05.034

  • Zhao, L., & Zhang, Y. Q. (2015). Effects of phosphate solubilization and phytohormone production of Trichoderma asperellum Q1 on promoting cucumber growth under salt stress. Journal of Integrated Agriculture, 14(8), 1588-1597. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-3119(14)60966-7

  • Zhao, L., Xu, Y., Sun, R., Deng, Z., Yang, W. & Wei, G. (2011). Identification and characterization of the endophytic plant growth promoter Bacillus cereus strain MQ23 isolated from Sophora alopecuroides root nodules. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 42(2), 567–575. https://doi.org/10.1590%2FS1517-838220110002000022

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles