Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (2): 195-205.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0004

Special Issue: 入侵生态学

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria on the growth strategy of an invasive plant Sphagneticola trilobata under different nitrogen levels

WANG Jing-Jing1, WANG Jia-Hao2, HUANG Zhi-Yun1, Vanessa Chiamaka OKECHUKW1, HU Die2, QI Shan-Shan2,*(), DAI Zhi-Cong1,3, DU Dao-Lin1   

  1. 1School of the Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
    2Key Laboratory of Modern Agricultural Equipment and Technology, Ministry of Education, School of Agricultural Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212013, China
    3Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Technology and Material of Water Treatment, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215009, China
  • Received:2022-01-05 Accepted:2022-05-20 Online:2023-02-20 Published:2023-02-28
  • Contact: *(
  • Supported by:
    Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province(BK20211321);National Natural Science Foundation of China(32171509);National Natural Science Foundation of China(32071521);Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province(2021K160B);Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions


Aims Many factors can influence the invasiveness of alien plants, and among them endophytes may play a key role. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the effects of endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria on the growth strategy of invasive plants.

Methods We grew the invasive plant Sphagneticola trilobata and its native congener S. calendulacea infected by endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria or not under two nitrogen levels (low and high) and compared their growth and total nitrogen content.

Important findings The endophytic bacteria Kosakonia sp. WTB-JS007, isolated from S. trilobata, had different effects on the growth strategy of the two species (S. trilobata and S. calendulacea) and such an effect did not depend on the nitrogen levels. Under the low nitrogen level, inoculation with WTB-JS007 showed no significant effect on the growth or total nitrogen content of S. calendulacea, but significantly increased aboveground biomass (by 30.48%), promoted stolon length, decreased belowground biomass (by 56.58%), and enhanced total nitrogen content (by 47.51%) of S. trilobata. Similarly, under the high nitrogen level, endophytic bacteria stimulated the aboveground growth of S. trilobata, but had no effect on that of S. calendulacea. These results suggest that endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria can differently affect the growth, biomass allocation and nitrogen uptake of invasive and its co-occurring native plant species. Such a difference in the growth strategy can facilitate the rapid growth and expansion of the aboveground part of invasive plants and thus promote their invasiveness.

Key words: invasive plant, aseptic culture system, nitrogen, growth strategy, new habitat expansion