Tolerance to environmental stress by the nitrogen-fixing actinobacterium Frankia and its role in actinorhizal plants adaptation


Environmental stresses are caused by human activities or natural events. Several of them including salinity, heavy metals, and extreme temperature affect both soil characteristics and plant growth and productivity. Actinorhizal plants are pioneer species that are able to grow in poor soils and improve soil fertility. They are widely used in agroforestry for different purposes including reclamation of degraded and contaminated lands. This capacity is mainly due to the plants forming a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with actinobacteria known as Frankia. In comparison to uninoculated plants, plants in symbiosis with Frankia have significantly improved plant growth, total biomass, and nitrogen and chlorophyll content which enhance the development of actinorhizal plants and their resistance to abiotic stresses. However, to optimize the adaptation of actinorhizal species to different environments, selection of both symbiotic partners is necessary. Frankia strains vary in their sensitivity and response to stress including salinity, heavy metals, extreme pH and drought. In this paper, we review the response of different Frankia strains to environmental stresses and their role that they play in the adaptation of actinorhizal plants to stressful conditions.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

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