Bacterial volatiles promote growth in Arabidopsis

Choong Min Ryu, Mohamed A. Faragt, Chia Hui Hu, Munagala S. Reddy, Han Xun Wei, Paul W. Paré, Joseph W. Kloepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

996 Scopus citations


Several chemical changes in soil are associated with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Some bacterial strains directly regulate plant physiology by mimicking synthesis of plant hormones, whereas others increase mineral and nitrogen availability in the soil as a way to augment growth. Identification of bacterial chemical messengers that trigger growth promotion has been limited in part by the understanding of how plants respond to external stimuli. With an increasing appreciation of how volatile organic compounds signal plants and serve in plant defense, investigations into the role of volatile components in plant-bacterial systems now can follow. Here, we present chemical and plant-growth data showing that some PGPR release a blend of volatile components that promote growth of Arabidopsis thaliana. In particular, the volatile components 2,3-butanediol and acetoin were released exclusively from two bacterial strains that trigger the greatest level of growth promotion. Furthermore, pharmacological applications of 2,3-butanediol enhanced plant growth whereas bacterial mutants blocked in 2,3-butanediol and acetoin synthesis were devoid in this growth-promotion capacity. The demonstration that PGPR strains release different volatile blends and that plant growth is stimulated by differences in these volatile blends establishes an additional function for volatile organic compounds as signaling molecules mediating plant-microbe interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4927-4932
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Bacterial volatiles promote growth in Arabidopsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this