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Abstract

Globally more than 5.2 billion hectares of farming fields are damaged through erosion, salinity and soil deterioration. Many salt stress tolerant bacteria have plant growth promoting (PGP) characteristics that can be used to overcome environmental stresses. Isolation and screening of salt-tolerant endophytes from Salicornia brachiata were achieved through surface sterilization of leaves followed by cultivation on 4% NaCl amended media. Performance of isolates towards indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, phosphate solubilization, ACC deaminase activity, ammonia production, siderophore production and stress tolerance were determined. On the basis of the highest plant growth promoting activity, SbCT4 and SbCT7 isolates were tested for plant growth promotion with wheat and maize crops. In the present study, a total of 12 morphologically distinct salt-tolerant endophytic bacteria was cultured. Out of 12 isolates, 42% of salt-tolerant endophytes showed phosphate solubilization, 67% IAA production, 33% ACC-deaminase activity, 92% siderophore production, 41.6% ammonia production and 66% HCN production. A dendrogram, generated on the basis of stress tolerance, showed two clusters, each including five isolates. The bacterial isolates SbCT4 and SbCT7 showed the highest stress tolerance, and stood separately as an independent branch. Bacterial isolates increased wheat shoot and root dry weights by 60–82% and 50–100%, respectively. Similarly, improved results were obtained with maize shoot (27–150%) and root (80–126%) dry weights. For the first time from this plant the bacterial isolates were identified as Paenibacillus polymyxa SbCT4 and Bacillus subtilis SbCT7 based on phenotypic features and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Paenibacillus polymyxa SbCT4 and B. subtilis SbCT7 significantly improved plant growth compared to non-inoculated trials.
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Abstract

Biological control of plant diseases is strongly emerging as an effective alternative to the use of chemical pesticides and fungicides. Stress tolerance is an important attribute in the selection of bacteria for the development of microbial inoculants. Fourteen salt-tolerant bacteria showing different morphological features isolated from the rhizosphere of maize were evaluated for different plant growth-promoting activities. All isolates showed auxin production ranging from 5 to 24 μg ⋅ ml–1 after 48 h incubation in tryptophan supplemented media. Phosphate solubilization ranged from 15 to 419 μg ⋅ ml–1. 1-aminocycloproprane- 1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity was shown by 6 isolates, ammonia production by 9 isolates, siderophore production by 8 isolates while HCN production by 4 isolates. Four bacterial isolates with all plant growth-promoting properties also showed strong antagonistic activities against Fusarium oxysporum, F. verticillioides, Curvularia lunata and Alternaria alternata and abiotic stress tolerance against salinity, temperature, pH and calcium salts. Two selected bacterial isolates significantly enhanced the growth of pea and maize test plants under greenhouse conditions. The bacterial isolate M1B2, which showed the highest growth promotion of test plants, was identified as Bacillus sp. based on phenotypic and 16S rDNA gene sequencing. The results indicated that Bacillus sp. M1B2 is a potential candidate for the development of microbial inoculants in stressful environments.
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Abstract

Rice blast is one of the most destructive rice diseases known to cause considerable yield losses globally. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are closely associated with rice plants and improve plant growth and health. To determine how isolated bacteria trigger rice growth, an assessment of phosphate solubilization and auxin production mechanisms was carried out in vitro and in vivo. In this study, the interactions between PGPR and Rhizophagus irregularis were evaluated in wildtype and CYCLOPS mutant plants to provide a sustainable solution against blast disease and reduce the amount of yield loss. Importantly, Bacillus subtilis UTSP40 and Pseudomonas fluorescens UTSP50 exhibited a suppressive effect on AMF colonization which shows the probable existence of a functional competition between AMF and PGPR to dominate the rhizosphere. On the other hand, R. irregularis decreased the biocontrol activity of B. subtilis UTSP40 in wild type, although this reduction was not significant in mutant plants. Results showed that the same defense-related genes were induced in the roots of wild type colonized by B. subtilis UTSP40 and R. irregularis. Therefore, plant cell programs may be shared during root colonization by these two groups of beneficial microorganisms.
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