The aim of this study was to evaluate whether
the interaction of Vicia sativa
with a bacterial strain
capable of using phenol as sole carbon and energy sources
can moderate adverse effects of this pollutant in plant tissues.
A bacterial strain identified as Bacillus
from a heavily polluted environment, was inoculated at
different stages of growth. In root elongation assay, inoculated
seeds showed higher values of relative root elongation
and germination index than uninoculated ones in the
presence of high phenol concentrations. Thus, common
sp. association could be important at the
first stages of development allowing this plant to grow in
highly polluted environments. Besides, phenol removal
was largely accelerated in phenol-spiked soils, after 48 h of
treatment with uninoculated/inoculated plants rather than
by adsorption or biodegradation of the bacterial strain.
Peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase activities increased
significantly in uninoculated plants, while superoxide dismutase
activity, chlorophyll, malondialdehyde, and H2
levels of aerial parts remained unaltered in uninoculated/
inoculated plants treated with the pollutant, demonstrating
that the efficient response to oxidative damage did not
depend on the inoculation.