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Isolation of Endophytic Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria Associated with the Halophyte Salicornia europaea and Evaluation of their Promoting Activity Under Salt Stress

Zhao, Shuai, Zhou, Na, Zhao, Zheng-Yong, Zhang, Ke, Wu, Guo-Hua, Tian, Chang-Yan
Current microbiology 2016 v.73 no.4 pp. 574-581
1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase, Arthrobacter agilis, Bacillus endophyticus, Salicornia europaea, Variovorax paradoxus, branches, endophytes, growth promotion, halophytes, host plants, indole acetic acid, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, ribosomal RNA, roots, salinity, salt stress, seed germination, seedling growth, seedlings, sodium chloride
Several reports have highlighted that many plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPE) can assist their host plants in coping with various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, information about the PGPE colonizing in the halophytes is still scarce. This study was designed to isolate and characterize PGPE from salt-accumulating halophyte Salicornia europaea grown under extreme salinity and to evaluate in vitro the bacterial mechanisms related to plant growth promotion. A total of 105 isolates were obtained from the surface-sterilized roots, stems, and assimilation twigs of S. europaea. Thirty-two isolates were initially selected for their ability to produce 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase as well as other properties such as production of indole-3-acetic acid and phosphate-solubilizing activities. The 16S rRNA gene-sequencing analysis revealed that these isolates belong to 13 different genera and 19 bacterial species. For these 32 strains, seed germination and seedling growth in axenically grown S. europaea seedlings at different NaCl concentrations (50–500 mM) were quantified. Five isolates possessing significant stimulation of the host plant growth were obtained. The five isolates were identified as Bacillus endophyticus, Bacillus tequilensis, Planococcus rifietoensis, Variovorax paradoxus, and Arthrobacter agilis. All the five strains could colonize and can be reisolated from the host plant interior tissues. These results demonstrate that habitat-adapted PGPE isolated from halophyte could enhance plant growth under saline stress conditions.