From 2002 to 2006, plant growth promoting effects of Bacillus M3, Bacillus OSU-142 and Microbacterium FS01 were tested alone or in combination on apple (Malus domestica L.) cv. Granny Smith in terms of yield, growth and nutrient composition of leaves in the province of Malatya, Turkey. The presence of M3 and/or OSU-142 and/or FS01 combinations stimulated plant growth and resulted in significant yield increases in Granny Smith. Root inoculation of PGPR strains significantly increased cumulative yield (26.0-88.0%), fruit weight (13.9-25.5%), shoot length (16.4-29.6%) and shoot diameter (15.9-18.4%) compared with the control. In addition, all nutrient element contents (N, P, K, Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn and Zn) investigated in Granny Smith, except Mg was significantly affected by bacterial applications compared with the control. The highest N content (3.38%) was obtained from OSU-142 + FS01 application. Phosphorus contents of leaves of Granny Smith increased from 0.29% in the control to 0.42, 0.37, 0.36, 0.36 and 0.35% by M3, M3 + FS01, M3 + OSU-142, OSU-142 and M3 + OSU-142 + FS01 application, respectively. All bacterial applications significantly increased Ca content of leaves. The highest K, Fe, Mn, Cu. and Zn content of leaves were obtained from OSU-142, M3, FS01, M3 and M3 + FS01 applications, respectively. The results of this study suggest that Bacillus M3 and/or OSU-142 and/or Microbacterium FS01 in combination have the potential to increase the yield, growth and nutrition of apple trees. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.