Plant and Soil

, Volume 371, Issue 1–2, pp 367–376 | Cite as

Distribution of bacterial endophytes in peanut seeds obtained from axenic and control plant material under field conditions

  • V. S. SobolevEmail author
  • V. A. Orner
  • R. S. Arias
Regular Article


Background and Aims

The role and linkage of endophytic bacteria to resistance of peanut seeds to biotic stress is poorly understood. The aims of the present study were to survey the experimental (axenic) and control (conventional) peanut plants for the predominant endophytic bacteria, and to characterize isolates with activity against selected A. flavus strains.


Young axenic plants were grown from presumably bacteria-free embryos in the lab, and then they were grown in a field. Endophytic bacterial species were identified by the analysis of DNA sequences of their 16S-ribosomal RNA gene. DNA extracted from soil was also analyzed for predominant bacteria.


Mature seeds from the experimental and control plants contained several species of nonpathogenic endophytic bacteria. Among the eight bacterial species isolated from seeds, and DNA sequences detected in soil, Bacillus thuringiensis was dominant. All B. amyloliquefaciens isolates, the second abundant species in seeds demonstrated activity against A. flavus. This effect was not observed with any other bacterial isolates. There was no significant difference in number and relative occurrence of the two major bacterial species between the experimental and conventionally grown control seeds.


Endophytic bacterial colonization derives from local soil and not from the seed source, and the peanut plant accommodates only selected species of bacteria from diverse soil populations. Some bacterial isolates showed antibiosis against A. flavus.


Arachis hypogaea Bacillus thuringiensis Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Endophytic bacteria Aspergillus flavus 



This work was supported by USDA-ARS project number 6604-42000-008-00D. We thank B. Horn for providing the strains Aspergillus flavus NRRL 3357 and NRRL 21882. We appreciate M. Schweikert’s valuable help in the isolation of bacteria from peanut seeds. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the US Department of Agriculture. The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Peanut Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of AgricultureDawsonUSA

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