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Screening of plant growth promotion ability among bacteria isolated from field-grown sorghum under different managements in Brazilian drylands


Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is a multipurpose grass cultivated in drylands due to its adaptation to drought. However the characteristics of sorghum-associated bacteria are not known in the Brazilian drylands. The aim of this study was to isolate and evaluate the plant growth promotion potential bacteria from field-grown sorghum under two irrigation and manure application levels in a Brazilian semi-arid reagion. Sorghum was irrigated with 3 or 1 mm day−1 and fertilized or not with liquid goat manure. Bacteria were obtained from surface-disinfected roots applying two nitrogen-free semi-solid media. The bacteria were evaluated for the presence of nifH gene, 16S rRNA sequences, calcium-phosphate solubilization, production of auxins and siderophores and for sorghum growth promotion. We obtained 20 out of 24 positive bacteria for nifH. The isolates were classified as in six different genera. All isolates produced auxins “in vitro”, six bacteria produced siderophores and three Enterobacteriaceae solubilized calcium-phosphate. At least ten bacteria resulted in the increased total N content in the sorghum shoots, comparable to fertilization with 50 mg N plant−1 week−1 and to inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense Ab-V5. Enterobacter sp. ESA 57 was the best sorghum plant-growth promoting bacteria isolated in this study.

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Acknowledgments are given to Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq 485168/2013-8), to INCT—Plant Growth Promoting Microorganisms for Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility (CNPq/Fundação Araucária INCT-MPCPAgro 465133/2014-4) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa and by financial support. Acknowledgments are also given to the Science foundation of the Pernambuco State (FACEPE), for the scholarship to the first and second authors, and to Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) for providing the scholarship for the third to seventh authors. The last author is a research fellow of CNPq (311218/2017-2).

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Correspondence to Paulo Ivan Fernandes-Júnior.

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da Silva, J.F., da Silva, T.R., Escobar, I.E.C. et al. Screening of plant growth promotion ability among bacteria isolated from field-grown sorghum under different managements in Brazilian drylands. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 34, 186 (2018).

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  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Inoculant
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Plant growth promotion