, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 402-408

Physiological enhancement of early growth of rice seedlings (Oryza sativa L.) by production of phytohormone of N2-fixing methylotrophic isolates

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Three plant-growth promoting, N2-fixing methylotrophic strains isolated from rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L.), viz, Methylobacterium sp. CBMB20, Enterobacter sp. CBMB30, Burkholderia sp. CBMB40, were selected, and their activities in promoting the early growth of rice were studied. Seeds treated with the methylotrophic strains improved seed germination, seedling vigor index (SVI), and biomass of rice seedlings. The methylotrophic population in the treated seedlings increased in the vegetative stages when compared to seeding stages. Treated seedlings showed a higher accumulation of plant hormones viz trans-zeatin riboside, isopentenyladenosine, and indole-3-acetic acid than untreated seedlings. Plant hormones were detected immunologically using the phytodetek kit. Conformational evidence suggested that cytokinins were produced by the epiphytic bacteria colonizing the plants rather than by the plants themselves. In addition, the inoculated early stage rice seedlings also exhibited a wide range of acetylene reduction activity. The results suggest the potential use of these bacteria to stimulate germination, SVI, and biomass production, which is mediated by production of plant hormone accumulation and nitrogen fixation.