Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria accelerate germination, growth and yield of sugarcane clone Co86032 (Saccharum officinarum L.)
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The existence of Methylobacterium as a symbiont with sugarcane and its influence on crop growth at various stages was examined. Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria (PPFMs) strains isolated from different parts of the sugarcane clone Co86032 showed growth on methanol, and were further confirmed based on the mxaF gene encoding the α-subunit of the methanol dehydrogenase by polymerase chain reaction amplification using specific primers. True seeds inoculated with PPFMs had a higher germination percent and rate of germination than the control. A combined treatment of seed imbibition, soil application and phyllosphere spray increased specific leaf area, plant height, number of internodes, and cane yield. Immunological determination of cytokinin in young and mature leaves significantly increased when the epiphytic population on the leaf surface increased. Trends in sugar qualities in the form of Pol (sucrose) % in cane, Brix % in cane, and commercial cane sugar were similar to that of cane yield. These effects might be mediated by the production or synthesis of plant hormones.