Inoculation with Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria

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Inoculation of seedlings with mycorrhizal fungi and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) can improve seedling survival and growth on sites with shallow or no soil profile (Ivetić and Devetaković 2016[1]). A combination of soil terracing, urban solid refuse amendment, and mycorrhization could be successfully applied in afforestation programs in semiarid and degraded sites (Roldan et al. 1996[2]). Seedling mycorrhization at planting correlated positively with growth (Duñabeitia 2004[3]) and survival (Óskarsson 2010[4]). A simple and cost efficient technique for promoting mycorrhization is addition of forest soil to the planting hole. Although nursery inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi resulted in a faster growth rate, addition of forest soil to the planting holes to promote mycorrhization improved field growth of Pinus halepensis (Querejeta et al. 1998[5]). Seedling performance can be significantly enhanced through PGPR inoculation of root systems (Chanway 1997[6]), especially when moving from favorable to harsh sites (Chanway and Holl 1993[7]; Chanway and Holl 1994[8]). Additionally, seedling inoculation with PGPR is beneficial on contaminated soils (Babu et al. 2014[9]; Karličić et al. 2016[10]). Inoculation of Robinia pseudoacacia L. and Pinus sylvestris seedlings with PGPR increased seedling growth in coal mine overburden (Karličić et al. 2015[11]). PGPR have a short-term, site specific effectiveness for reforestation of conifer seedlings, which necessitate matching PGPR strains to outplanting sites for effective growth promotion (Chanway et al. 2000[12]). Although use of mycorrhizal fungi and PGPR has the potential to benefit seedling during establishment phase, the seedling-microorganism relationship does not always yield improved field performance (Grossnickle 2000[13]).


  1. Ivetić V, Devetaković J (2016) Reforestation challenges in Southeast Europe facing climate change. Reforesta 1: 178-220. DOI:
  2. Roldan A, Querejeta I, Albadalejo J, Castillo V (1996) Growth response of Pinus halepensis to inoculation with Pisolithus arhizus in a terraced rangeland with urban refuse. Plant Soil 179: 35–43.
  3. Duñabeitia M, Rodrı́guez N, Salcedo I, Sarrionandia E (2004) Field mycorrhization and its influence on the establishment and development of the seedlings in a broadleaf plantation in the Basque country. Forest Ecol Manag 195: 129-39. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2004.02.038.
  4. Óskarsson Ú (2010) Potting substrate and nursery fertilization regime influence mycorrhization and field performance of Betula pubescens seedlings. Scand J Forest Res 25: 111-117. doi:10.1080/02827581003730781.
  5. Querejeta IJ, Roldán A, Albaladejo J, Castillo V (1998) The role of mycorrhizae, site preparation, and organic amendment in the afforestation of a semi-arid Mediterranean site with Pinus halepensis. Forest Sci 44: 203-211.
  6. Chanway CP (1997) Inoculation of tree roots with plant growth promoting soil bacteria: An emerging technology for reforestation. For Sci 43: 99-112.
  7. Chanway CP, Holl FB (1993) First year field performance of Spruce seedlings inoculated with plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria. Can J Microbiol 39: 1084-1088.
  8. Chanway CP, Holl FB (1994) Growth of outplanted Lodgepole pine seedlings one year after inoculation with plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria. For Sci 40: 238-246.
  9. Babu GA, Shea JP, Byung-Taek O (2014) Trichoderma sp. PDR1-7 promotes Pinus sylvestris reforestation of lead-contaminated mine tailing sites. Sci Total Environ 476-477: 561–567. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.119.
  10. Karličić V, Golubović Ćurguz V, Raičević V (2016) The alleviation of reforestration challenges by beneficial soil microorganisms. Reforesta 1:238-259.
  11. Karličić V, Radić D, Jovičić Petrović J, Golubović-Ćurguz V, Kiković D, Raičević V (2015) Inoculation of Robinia pseudoacacia L. and Pinus sylvestris L. seedlings with plant growth promoting bacteria causes increased growth in coal mine overburden. In: Ivetić V, Stanković D (eds) Proceedings: International conference Reforestation Challenges, 03-06 June 2015, Belgrade, Serbia, pp 42-49.
  12. Chanway CP, Shishido M, Nairn J, Jungwirth S, Markham J, Xiao G, Holl FB (2000) Endophytic colonization and field responses of hybrid Spruce seedlings after inoculation with plant growth-promoting Rhizobacteria. Forest Ecol Manage 133: 81-88. doi:10.1016/S0378-1127(99)00300-X.
  13. Grossnickle SC (2000) Ecophysiology of northern spruce species: the performance of planted seedlings. NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 407 p.