AIMS Microbiology, 2017, 3(3): 596-612. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2017.3.596

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Endophytic bacteria with plant growth promoting abilities from Ophioglossum reticulatum L.

1 Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India
2 Department of Botany, Serampore College, Serampore, Hooghly, India

Endophytic bacteria colonizing the internal tissues of plants are known to improve plant growth by a wide variety of mechanisms. This study envisages the isolation and evaluation of plant growth promoting attributes of bacterial endophytes in perennial fern Ophioglossum reticulatum L. A total of 20 phenotypically distinguishable bacterial endophytes were isolated from surface sterilized leaf lamina, petiole, rhizome and spike of O. reticulatum L. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index showed that the rhizome (1.54) harbor more diverse types of endophytic bacteria than in its petiole, leaf lamina and spike. The isolated endophytes were characterized on the basis of micromorphological and physio-biochemical characters and tentatively assigned to the genus Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. The isolates showed distinct variations in their enzymatic activities, sugar fermentation and antibiotic sensitivity profile. A number of endophytic isolates showed plant growth promoting activities like production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and siderophore, growth in nitrogen-free medium and solubilization of phosphate. Time course of growth and IAA production by the potent isolate Bacillus OPR 7 have been determined. Exploitation of such plant growth promoting endophytes appears to be one of the best options in increasing biomass yield and improving plant fitness and productivity.
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