Plant and Soil

, Volume 173, Issue 2, pp 337–342 | Cite as

Survey of indigenous bacterial endophytes from cotton and sweet corn

  • John A. McInroy
  • Joseph W. Kloepper
Research Article


The genotypic diversity of indigenous bacterial endophytes within stems and roots of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was determined in field trials throughout one growing season. Strains were isolated from surface-disinfested tissues and identified by fatty acid analysis. Gram-negative bacteria comprised 70.5% of the endophytic bacteria and 27 of the 36 genera identified. The most frequently isolated groups from sweet corn roots, were Burkholderia pickettii and Enterobacter spp.; from sweet corn stems, Bacillus megaterium. Bacterial genera present in sweet corn roots were also generally present in sweet corn stems. However, Burkholderia gladioli, Burkholderia solanacearum and Enterobacter cloacae were isolated much more frequently from sweet corn roots than stems, whereas Methylobacterium spp. were found more frequently in sweet corn stems than roots. Agrobacterium radiobacter, Serratia spp. and Burkholderia solanacearum, were the most frequently isolated groups from cotton roots; and Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus pumilus from cotton stems. Acinetobacter baumannii and Arthrobacter spp. were present in cotton stems but not in cotton roots. There were 14 taxonomic groups present in cotton roots that were not in cotton stems; all but one were Gram-negative. These included, Agrobacterium radiobacter, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, Enterobacter asburiae, Pseudomonas chlororaphis, Serratia spp. and Staphylococcus spp. Rhizobium japonicum and Variovorax paradoxus were isolated, almost exclusively, from the roots of both crops. Bacterial taxa present in both sweet corn and cotton early in the season were generally present late in the season. The diversity of bacteria was greater in roots than stems for each crop.

Key words

colonization cotton endophytes roots stems sweet corn 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. McInroy
    • 1
  • Joseph W. Kloepper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, Biological Control Institute, Alabama Agricultural Experiment StationAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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