A field study was conducted to compare the formationand bacterial communities of rhizosheaths of wheat grown under wheat-cotton and wheat-rice rotation and to study the effects of bacterial inoculation on plant growth. Inoculation of Azospirillum sp. WS-1 and Bacillus sp. T-34 to wheat plants increased root length, root and shoot dry weight and dry weight of rhizosheathsoil when compared to non-inoculated control plants, and under both crop rotations. Comparing both crop rotations, root length, root and shoot dry weight and dry weight of soil attached with roots were higher under wheat-cotton rotation. Organic acids (citric acid, malic acid, acetic acid and oxalic acid) were detected in rhizosheaths from both rotations, with malic acid being most abundant with 24.8±2 and 21.3±1.5 μgg-1 dry soil in wheat-cotton and wheat-rice rotation, respectively. Two sugars (sucrose, glucose) were detected in wheat rhizosheath under both rotations, with highest concentrations of sucrose (4.08±0.5 μgg-1 and 7.36±1.0 μgg-1) and glucose (3.12±0.5 μgg-1 and 3.01± μgg-1) being detected in rhizosheaths of non-inoculated control plants under both rotations. Diversity of rhizosheath-associated bacteria was evaluated by cultivation, as well as by 454-pyrosequencing of PCR-tagged 16S rRNA gene amplicons. A total of 14 and 12 bacterial isolates predominantly belonging to the genera Arthrobacter, Azospirillum, Bacillus, Enterobacter and Pseudomonaswere obtained from the rhizosheath of wheat grown under wheat-cotton and wheat-rice rotation, respectively. Analysis of pyrosequencing data revealed Proteobacteria, Bacteriodetes and Verrucomicrobiaas the most abundant phyla in wheat-rice rotation, whereas Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes and Cyanobacteria were predominant in wheat-cotton rotation. From a total of 46,971 sequences, 10.9% showed 97% similarity with 16S rRNA genes of 32 genera previously shown to include isolates with plant growth promoting activity (nitrogen fixation, phosphate-solubilization, IAA production). Among these, the most predominant genera were Arthrobacter, Azoarcus, Azospirillum, Bacillus, Cyanobacterium, Paenibacillus, Pseudomonas and Rhizobium.