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Plant growth promoting and antifungal activity in endophytic Bacillus strains from pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum).


ABSTRACT: Bacterial endophytes are well known inhabitants of living plant system and perform important assignments in maintaining plant growth and health. Currently, limited reports are available on the endophytes of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) reflecting antagonistic and plant growth promoting (PGP) attributes. Therefore, the major objectives of current investigation were to identify antagonistic strains of endophytic Bacillus from pearl millet and further illustrate their PGP capabilities. In this study, 19 endophytic Bacillus strains (EPP5, EPP21, EPP30, EPP32, EPP35, EPP42, EPP49, EPP55, EPP62, EPP65, EPP70, EPP71, EPP74, EPP78, EPP83, EPP86, EPP93, EPP100, and EPP102) displaying antagonistic activity towards Rhizoctonia solani (RS), Sclerotium rolfsii (SR), and Fusarium solani (FS) were isolated from different sections (root, leaf, stem, and root) of pearl millet. Phenotypic (shape, colony, gram staining reaction, endospore formation, and motility) and biochemical features (catalase, oxidase, citrate, gelatinase, urease, Voges Proskauer's, methyl red, indole, and nitrate reduction), along with the similarly comparison of 16S rRNA gene sequence with type strains identified eight antagonistic endophyhtes as B. amyloliquefaciens (EPP35, EPP 42, EPP62, and EPP 102), Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis (EPP65), and Bacillus cereus (EPP5, EPP71, and EPP74). The production of indole acetic acid and siderophores was varied among the isolated endophytes. Besides displaying enzymatic activities, these isolates varied in solubilizing capabilities of phosphate, potassium, and zinc. The presence of three antimicrobial peptide genes (ituD, bmyC, and srfA) also confirmed their antifungal nature. Further, single treatment of three promising strains (EPP5, EPP62, and EPP65) offered protection ranging from 35.68 to 45.74% under greenhouse conditions. However, microbial consortium (EPP5+ EPP62 + EPP65) provided the highest protection (71.96%) against root rot and wilt infection with significant increase in plant biomass. Overall, the current study indicated that pearl millet plant harbors various species of endophytic Bacillus that possess excellent biocontrol and growth promotion activities.

SUBMITTER: Kushwaha P 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7058731 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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