, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 353-359
Date: 29 Apr 2006

Identification of IAA-producing endophytic bacteria from micropropagated Echinacea plants using 16S rRNA sequencing

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The presence of latent bacteria is a serious problem in plant tissue cultures. While endophytes are generally beneficial to plants in situ, they may affect culture growth under the modified conditions in vitro. The present study was undertaken to identify and characterize endophytic bacteria associated with the medicinal plant Echinacea in tissue culture. Based on classical microbiological tests and 16S rRNA analyses, it was found that endophytic bacteria associated with aseptically micropropagated Echinacea plantlets are representatives of several genera, Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Wautersia (Ralstonia) and Stenotrophomonas. Based on TLC and HPLC analyses, we found that Pseudomonas stutzeri P3 strain produces plant hormone, auxin (indole-3-acetic acid, IAA). Antibiotic resistance was also assessed as a virulence factor. The majority of endophytic bacteria were resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin, but susceptible to chloramphenicol. Recommendations for propagating Echinacea in vitro cultures involve the addition of chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and ampicillin, antibiotics that cause no side effects on these plant species.