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Multifunctional potential of endophytic and rhizospheric microbial isolates associated with Butia purpurascens roots for promoting plant growth


The functional diversity of endophytic and rhizospheric microorganisms associated with the promotion of plant growth includes increased availability of plant nutrients, phytohormone synthesis and phytopathogen suppression. We used the hypothesis that the unknown root and rhizospheric community associated with the Butia purpurascens palm, an endemic species of the Cerrado, could be composed of microbiota with great functional diversity. Thus, the potential of the isolates of this community for four functional traits was evaluated: solubilization of calcium phosphate (CaHPO4) and iron phosphate (FePO4), synthesis of indoleacetic acid (IAA) and suppression of seed- and fruit-spoilage fungi of B. purpurascens. A total of 166 bacterial isolates, most belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria (94%), and 46 fungal isolates (Ascomycota) were tested. None of the isolates showed the four functional traits tested, but 72% presented two traits (CaHPO4 solubilization and IAA synthesis). Fifteen fungi (27% of the isolates) presented only the trace for IAA, whereas the capacity for antibiosis was observed in only eight bacteria. CaHPO4-solubilization capacity was evidenced by all bacterial isolates and by some fungal isolates. The functional trait for IAA production was present in all isolates, and production levels were significantly above 100 μg mL−1 for some bacteria. Isolates of the genus Bacillus efficiently suppressed the growth of spoilage fungi tested, with relative inhibition rates reaching levels higher than 60% when using Bacillus subtilis. These results attest to the multifunctionality of the endophytic and rhizospheric isolates of B. purpurascens for the promotion of plant growth. This is the first study that sought to identify the root endophytic and rhizospheric microbiota associated with the B. purpurascens palm for the bioprospection of species with functional traits related to the promotion of plant growth, thus opening the way for in vivo tests in plants of commercial or ecological interest.

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The authors thank the Goiano Federal Institute—Rio Verde Campus (Instituto Federal Goiano campus Rio Verde) for assisting in the obtaining of plant material, making possible the search in the field of the analyzed specie; the Research Foundation of the State of Goiás (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Goiás- FAPEG) for the for the financial assistance that has occurred through the public announcement 012/2012; the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq) and Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior- CAPES) for the doctorate scholarship.

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Correspondence to Cintia Faria da Silva.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants and/or animals performed by any of the authors. The formal consent is not required in this study.

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da Silva, C.F., Vitorino, L.C., Soares, M.A. et al. Multifunctional potential of endophytic and rhizospheric microbial isolates associated with Butia purpurascens roots for promoting plant growth. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 111, 2157–2174 (2018).

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  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Phosphate solubilization
  • Auxin
  • Antibiosis