Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacterium (PGPR) represents a wide variety of soil bacteria that, when grown in association with a host plant, result in stimulation of growth of their host. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of inoculation with a PGPR, Pseudomonas fluorescence, alone or in combination with an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus mosseae (Nicol. & Gerd.), on antioxidant enzyme activities (catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POX)), phosphatase activity, solutes accumulation, growth and minerals nutrient uptake in shoots of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) affected by three levels of salt stress. Salinity decreased bean growth, regardless of the biological treatment and the salt stress level. The plants inoculated with P. fluorescence had significantly greater shoot biomass than the control plants at all salinity levels, whereas the mycorrhizal inoculation treatments were only effective in increasing shoot biomass at a low salinity level. The plants inoculated with P. fluorescence presented higher concentrations of shoots’ K+ and lower concentrations of shoots’ Na+ under high salt conditions. Salt stress increased shoots’ proline concentration, particularly in plants inoculated with the PGPR. Increasing salinity stress raised significantly the antioxidant enzyme activities, including those of total POX and CAT, of bean shoots compared with their corresponding nonstressed plants. The PGPR strain induced a higher increase in these antioxidant enzymes in response to severe salinity. Inoculation with selected PGPR could serve as a useful tool for alleviating salinity stress in salt-sensitive plants.
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