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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 491091, 17 pages
Research Article

Plant Growth Promotion Potential Is Equally Represented in Diverse Grapevine Root-Associated Bacterial Communities from Different Biopedoclimatic Environments

1Department of Food, Environment, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Laboratory of Microorganisms and Active Biomolecules, University of Tunis El Manar, Campus Universitaire, Rommana 1068, Tunis BP 94, Tunisia and Laboratory BVBGR, ISBST, University of Manouba, La Manouba 2010, Tunisia
3Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Shubra Elkheima, Cairo, Egypt

Received 13 March 2013; Revised 14 May 2013; Accepted 21 May 2013

Academic Editor: George Tsiamis

Copyright © 2013 Ramona Marasco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Plant-associated bacteria provide important services to host plants. Environmental factors such as cultivar type and pedoclimatic conditions contribute to shape their diversity. However, whether these environmental factors may influence the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of the root-associated bacteria is not widely understood. To address this issue, the diversity and PGP potential of the bacterial assemblage associated with the grapevine root system of different cultivars in three Mediterranean environments along a macrotransect identifying an aridity gradient were assessed by culture-dependent and independent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE, the structure of endosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities was highly diverse ( ) and was associated with a cultivar/latitudinal/climatic effect. Despite being diverse, the bacterial communities associated with Egyptian grapevines shared a higher similarity with the Tunisian grapevines than those cultivated in North Italy. A similar distribution, according to the cultivar/latitude/aridity gradients, was observed for the cultivable bacteria. Many isolates (23%) presented in vitro multiple stress resistance capabilities and PGP activities, the most frequent being auxin synthesis (82%), insoluble phosphate solubilisation (61%), and ammonia production (70%). The comparable numbers and types of potential PGP traits among the three different environmental settings indicate a strong functional homeostasis of beneficial bacteria associated with grape root.