Diversity of culturable methylotrophic bacteria in different genotypes of groundnut and their potential for plant growth promotion
This study aimed at documenting the culturable methylotrophic bacterial diversity across different groundnut genotypes and evaluating their effect on the growth of groundnut. 80 methylotrophic bacterial isolates were obtained from the phyllosphere of 15 groundnut genotypes collected from Tamil Nadu, India. The bacterial isolates were identified through sequencing of the 16S rDNA and were tested for their plant growth-promoting properties. Groundnut seeds were inoculated with methylotrophic bacteria and their effect on growth was evaluated via in vitro and pot experiments. Molecular identification revealed that the isolates belonged to 30 different species. A higher diversity of methylotrophic bacteria at genus and species level was found in groundnut genotype TMV2. Shannon diversity index was the highest in genotype TMV7, followed by VRI2 and TMV2. Similarly, geographical location also influenced the diversity of methylotrophic bacteria. In vitro seed germination assay revealed that methylotrophic isolates enhanced root growth and improved formation of root hair. The radicle length of treated seeds ranged from 2.7 to 8.4 cm. A higher shoot length was observed in the plants from seeds treated with Methylobacterium radiotolerans VRI8-A4 (27.3 cm), followed by Pseudomonas psychrotolerans TMV13-A1 (26.3 cm) and Bacillus aryabhattai K-CO3-3 (23 cm). The findings of this study strongly suggest that beneficial methylotrophic bacteria associated with the phyllosphere of groundnut play a major role in regulating plant growth.
KeywordsGroundnut Phyllosphere Methylotrophic bacteria Plant growth-promoting traits
This study was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), under Grant No. PDF/2015/000456.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that we have no competing interests.
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