Isolation and characterization of sunflower associated bacterial strain with broad spectrum plant growth promoting traits

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Research Paper 01/08/2018
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Isolation and characterization of sunflower associated bacterial strain with broad spectrum plant growth promoting traits

Afshan Majeed, M. Kaleem Abbasi, Sohail Hameed, Asma Imran, Tahir Naqqash, Muhammad Kashif Hanif
Int. J. Biosci.13( 2), 111-125, August 2018.
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Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) based biofertilizers act as a natural driving force, allowing crops to deliver their full potential by providing a promising alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Despite its economic importance a little is known about the response of sunflower towards inoculation with PGPR. A potential PGPR was isolated from Chamyati, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, an unexplored area towards PGPR and the bacterial mechanisms related to plant growth promotion were evaluated and characterized. The bacterium was identified as Arthrobacter sp. AF-163 through 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. This bacterium was found catalase and cytochrome oxidase positive, metabolically diverse by utilizing 54 out of 93 carbon sources in Biolog microplate analysis and resistant to a number of antibiotics in intrinsic antibiotic resistance assay. AF-163 showed nitrogenase activity (107.2 nmoles mg-1 protein h-1) in gas chromatographic analysis; produced 23.7 µgmL-1 indole-3-acetic acid (HPLC analysis) and solubilized 40.5 μgmL−1 insoluble phosphorus (spectrophotometric analysis) displaying significant decrease in pH (up to 2.3) due to the production of ascorbic acid, malic acid and gluconic acid and oxalic acid. Moreover AF-163 showed antagonistic activity against Fusarium oxysporum in in vitro dual culture assay. Inoculation with this bacterium to sunflower grown in soil-free culture showed a significant increase in sunflower growth parameters.  This study concludes that Arthrobacter sp. strain AF-163 contains multiple plant growth promoting traits, recommended to be evaluated further under field conditions before using them as commercial bio-inoculant.


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