PLoS ONE, 2016, Vol.11(6)
The present study demonstrates the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of a bacterial isolate CDP-13 isolated from ‘ Capparis decidua ’ plant, and its ability to protect plants from the deleterious effect of biotic and abiotic stressors. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolate was identified as Serratia marcescens . Among the PGP traits, the isolate was found to be positive for ACC deaminase activity, phosphate solubilization, production of siderophore, indole acetic acid production, nitrogen fixation, and ammonia production. CDP-13 showed growth at an increased salt (NaCl) concentration of up to 6%, indicating its potential to survive and associate with plants growing in saline soil. The inoculation of S . marcescens enhanced the growth of wheat plant under salinity stress (150–200 mM). It significantly reduced inhibition of plant growth (15 to 85%) caused by salt stressors. Application of CDP-13 also modulated concentration (20 to 75%) of different osmoprotectants (proline, malondialdehyde, total soluble sugar, total protein content, and indole acetic acid) in plants suggesting its role in enabling plants to tolerate salt stressors. In addition, bacterial inoculation also reduced the disease severity caused by fungal infection, which illustrated its ability to confer induced systemic resistance (ISR) in host plants. Treatment of wheat plants with the test organism caused alteration in anti-oxidative enzymes activities (Superoxide dismutase, Catalase, and Peroxidase) under various salinity levels, and therefore minimizes the salinity-induced oxidative damages to the plants. Colonization efficiency of strain CDP-13 was confirmed by CFU count, epi-fluorescence microscopy, and ERIC-PCR-based DNA fingerprinting approach. Hence, the study indicates that bacterium CDP-13 enhances plant growth, and has potential for the amelioration of salinity stress in wheat plants. Likewise, the results also provide insights into biotechnological approaches to using PGPR as an alternative to chemicals and pesticides.
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