Maize spermosphere bacterial endophytes and their biotic and abiotic stress tolerance traits
Author(s): Abarna Ravichandran, Kalaiselvi Thangavel and Anandham Rangasamy
Abstract: In the present study, 12 bacterial endophytes (C1 to C12) were isolated from three different genotypes of maize seed (COH6). Seed endophytes are considered as pioneers of plant microbiome and enhance the plant defense response at an early stage of crop growth and later stages of seedling development. The seed-associated endophytes exhibit the antagonistic property against the fungal pathogen (Fusarium oxysporum and Macrophomina phaseolina) of maize. Among 12 isolates, C11 suppressed the mycelial growth of both the tested pathogens. Furthermore, the selected isolates were subjected to in vitro abiotic stress tolerance such as salt, drought and temperature stress. The isolates C3, C5, C7, and C12 showed increased tolerance to drought, salt and temperature stress and might assist the host plant in alleviating the ill-effects of abiotic stress on maize. On a whole, microbial isolates associated with the seeds could be a better candidate in biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and would develop those isolates as consortia for obtaining desirable growth in maize.