A Bioactive Fraction from Streptomyces sp. Enhances Maize Tolerance against Drought Stress

Warrad, M., Y. M. Hassan, M. S. M. Mohamed, N. Hagagy, O. A. Al-Maghrabi, S. Selim, A. M. Saleh, and H. AbdElgawad, "A Bioactive Fraction from Streptomyces sp. Enhances Maize Tolerance against Drought Stress", Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 30, issue 8: The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology, pp. 1156 - 1168, 2020/08/.


Drought stress is threatening the growth and productivity of many economical crops. Therefore, it is necessary to establish innovative and efficient approaches for improving crop growth and productivity. Here we investigated the potentials of the cell-free extract of Actinobacteria (Ac) isolated from a semi-arid habitat (Al-Jouf region, Saudi Arabia) to recover the reduction in maize growth and improve the physiological stress tolerance induced by drought. Three Ac isolates were screened for production of secondary metabolites, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. The isolate Ac3 revealed the highest levels of flavonoids, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities in addition to having abilities to produce siderophores and phytohormones. Based on seed germination experiment, the selected bioactive fraction of Ac3 cell-free extract (F2.7, containing mainly isoquercetin), increased the growth and photosynthesis rate under drought stress. Moreover, F2.7 application significantly alleviated drought stress-induced increases in H2O2, lipid peroxidation (MDA) and protein oxidation (protein carbonyls). It also increased total antioxidant power and molecular antioxidant levels (total ascorbate, glutathione and tocopherols). F2.7 improved the primary metabolism of stressed maize plants; for example, it increased in several individuals of soluble carbohydrates, organic acids, amino acids, and fatty acids. Interestingly, to reduce stress impact, F2.7 accumulated some compatible solutes including total soluble sugars, sucrose and proline. Hence, this comprehensive assessment recommends the potentials of actinobacterial cell-free extract as an alternative ecofriendly approach to improve crop growth and quality under water deficit conditions.



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