, Volume 356, Issue 1-2, pp 265-277
Date: 08 Jul 2011

The roots of the halophyte Salicornia brachiata are a source of new halotolerant diazotrophic bacteria with plant growth-promoting potential

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Soil salinity is the major cause limiting plant productivity worldwide. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria were enriched and characterised from roots of Salicornia brachiata, an extreme halophyte which has substantial economic value as a bioresource of diverse and valuable products. Nitrogen-free semisolid NFb medium with malate as carbon source and up to 4% NaCl were used for enrichment and isolation of diazotrophic bacteria. The isolates were tested for plant growth-promoting traits and 16S rRNA, nifH and acdS genes were analysed. For selected strains, plant growth-promoting activities were tested in axenically grown Salicornia seedlings at different NaCl concentrations (0–0.5M). New halotolerant diazotrophic bacteria were isolated from roots of S. brachiata. The isolates were identified as Brachybacterium saurashtrense sp. nov., Zhihengliuella sp., Brevibacterium casei, Haererehalobacter sp., Halomonas sp., Vibrio sp., Cronobacter sakazakii, Pseudomonas spp., Rhizobium radiobacter, and Mesorhizobium sp. Nitrogen fixation as well as plant growth-promoting traits such as indole acetic acid (IAA) production, phosphate solubilisation, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase activity were demonstrated. For Brachybacterium saurashtrense and Pseudomonas sp., significant plant growth-promoting activities were observed in Salicornia in salt stress conditions. Salicornia brachiata is a useful source of new halotolerant diazotrophic bacteria with plant growth-promoting potential.