Plant probiotic bacteria Bacillus and Paraburkholderia improve growth, yield and content of antioxidants in strawberry fruit
Strawberry is an excellent source of natural antioxidants with high capacity of scavenging free radicals. This study evaluated the effects of two plant probiotic bacteria, Bacillus amylolequefaciens BChi1 and Paraburkholderia fungorum BRRh-4 on growth, fruit yield and antioxidant contents in strawberry fruits. Root dipping of seedlings (plug plants) followed by spray applications of both probiotic bacteria in the field on foliage significantly increased fruit yield (up to 48%) over non-treated control. Enhanced fruit yield likely to be linked with higher root and shoot growth, individual and total fruit weight/plant and production of phytohormone by the probiotic bacteria applied on plants. Interestingly, the fruits from plants inoculated with the isolates BChi1 and BRRh-4 had significantly higher contents of phenolics, carotenoids, flavonoids and anthocyanins over non-treated control. Total antioxidant activities were also significantly higher (p?<?0.05) in fruits of strawberry plants treated with both probiotic bacteria. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of significant improvement of both yield and quality of strawberry fruits by the application of plant probiotic bacteria BChi1 and BRRh-4 in a field condition. Further study is needed to elucidate underlying mechanism of growth and quality improvement of strawberry fruits by probiotic bacteria.