Phosphate solubilization by Penicillium spp. isolated from soil samples of Indian Himalayan region
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A total of 246 fungal isolates representing 36 genera and 72 species were isolated from the soil samples collected from Indian Himalayan region. Twenty-one species belonged to the genus Penicillium alone. All the Penicillium species were screened for phosphate solubilizing activity on Pikovskaya agar at 21 °C. Eight species of Penicillium, exhibiting formation of halos (zone of solubilization) around the fungal colonies in qualitative plate assays, were selected for quantitative estimations. In quantitative estimations that were conducted upto day 30 (at 3 days interval), seven species of Penicillium brought maximum solubilization after day 15, while P. oxalicum showed maximum solubilization after day 21 of incubation. The increase in solubilization coincided with decrease in pH of the broth. Acid phosphatase activity was 1.5–2.0 times higher in comparison to alkaline phosphatase. Many of these species showed wide range of tolerance for temperature, pH and salt concentration.
KeywordsPenicillium Phosphate-solubilization Phosphatase Himalaya
Dr. LMS Palni is acknowledged for his interest in this research. Director, GBPIHED, is acknowledged for providing the facilities. The Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, New Delhi, are thanked for financial support.
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