Authors:S.B. Lade, N. Nicholson-Sabaté, and V. Medina
The effect of Azospirillum brasilense Sp7 (Sp7) on maize (Zea mays, Mill cv. B73) seedlings was compared when using two common carriers to deliver Sp7 to the seed: phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). Seedling height, leaf chlorophyll levels, and root growth parameters were analyzed with WinRHIZO® at an early vegetative stage of plant development. Scanning and transmission electron microscope (SEM & TEM) analysis showed that carrier components do not effect bacterial binding to plant roots. MgSO4 + Sp7 caused a significant increase in the abundance of thick lateral roots, but stunted plant height, compared to other treatment groups, while relative chlorophyll contents (SPAD) significantly increased in seedlings inoculated with PBS + Sp7, revealing that the two inoculation carriers differentially affect the Sp7-associated plants.