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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Titania (TiO2) nanoparticles enhance the performance of growth-promoting rhizobacteria

Timmusk, Salme; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim; Behers, Lawrence


A novel use of nanotitania (TNs) as agents in the nanointerface interaction between plants and colonization of growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) is presented. The effectiveness of PGPRs is related to the effectiveness of the technology used for their formulation. TNs produced by the Captigel patented SolGel approach, characterized by the transmission and scanning electron microscopy were used for formulation of the harsh environment PGPR strains. Changes in the biomass of wheat seedlings and in the density of single and double inoculants with and without TNs were monitored during two weeks of stress induced by drought salt and by the pathogen Fusarium culmorum. We show that double inoculants with TNs can attach stably to plant roots. Regression analysis indicates that there is a positive interaction between seedling biomass and TN-treated second inoculant colonization. We conclude that TN treatment provides an effectual platform for PGPR rational application via design of root microbial community. Our studies illustrate the importance of considering natural soil nanoparticles for PGPR application and thereby may explain the generally observed inconsistent behavior of PGPRs in the field. These new advancements importantly contribute towards solving food security issues in changing climates. The model systems established here provide a basis for new PGPR nanomaterials research.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2018, Volume: 8, article number: 617