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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (10): 2458-2469    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63303-2
Special Issue: 园艺-栽培生理/资源品质合辑Horticulture — Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation
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Efficiency of potassium-solubilizing Paenibacillus mucilaginosus for the growth of apple seedling
CHEN Yan-hui1*, YANG Xiao-zhu1, 2*, LI Zhuang1, AN Xiu-hong1, MA Ren-peng1, LI Yan-qing1, CHENG Cun-gang1 
1 Key Laboratory of Mineral Nutrition and Efficient Fertilization for Deciduous Fruits, Liaoning Province/Key Laboratory of Fruit Germplasm Resources Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Afffairs/Institute of Pomology, Chinese Academy of Agricultrual Sciences, Xingcheng 125100, P.R.China
2 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, P.R.China
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Chemical potassium (K) fertilizer is commonly used in apple (Malus domestica L. Borkh) production but K is easily fixed by soil, resulting in reduced K fertilizer utilization and wasted resources.  K-solubilizing bacteria (KSB) can cost-effectively increase the soluble K content in rhizosphere soil.  Therefore, the objectives were to select high-efficiency KSB from apple orchards under various soil management models and evaluate their effects on apple seedling growth.  Maize (Zea mays L.) straw mulching (MSM) increased the total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN) and available potassium (AK) in the rhizosphere and improved fruit quality.  The number of KSB in the rhizosphere soil of MSM was 9.5×104 CFU g–1 soil, which was considerably higher than that in the other mulching models.  Fourteen KSB strains were isolated with relative K solubilizing ability ranging from 17 to 30%, and five strains increased the dry weight per apple seedling.  The most efficient strain was identified as Paenibacillus mucilaginosus through morphological observation and sequence analysis of 16S rDNA, named JGK.  After inoculation, the colonization of JGK in soil decreased from 4.0 to 1.5×109 CFU g–1 soil within 28 d.  The growth of the apple seedlings and the K accumulation in apple plants were promoted by irrigation with 50 mL JGK bacterial solution (1×109 CFU mL–1), but there was no significant increase in the AK content of rhizosphere soil.  High-performance liquid phase analysis (HPLC) data showed that the JGK metabolites contained phytohormones and organic acids.  Hence, the JGK strain promoted the growth of two-month-old apple seedlings by stimulating function of the produced phytohormones and enhanced K solubility by acidification for apple seedling uptake.  This study enriches the understanding of KSB and provides an effective means to increase the K utilization efficiency of apple production.
Keywords:  maize straw mulching        potassium-solubilizing bacteria        growth promotion        hormones        organic acids  
Received: 02 December 2019   Accepted:
Fund: This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0201100), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31701902), and the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-27).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence CHENG Cun-gang, Tel/Fax: +86-429-3598158, E-mail:    
About author:  CHEN Yan-hui, E-mail:; * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

CHEN Yan-hui, YANG Xiao-zhu, LI Zhuang, AN Xiu-hong, MA Ren-peng, LI Yan-qing, CHENG Cun-gang. 2020. Efficiency of potassium-solubilizing Paenibacillus mucilaginosus for the growth of apple seedling. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(10): 2458-2469.

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