Synergistic Plant–microbe Interactions Between Endophytic Bacterial Communities And The Medicinal Plant Glycyrrhiza Uralensis F.

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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology


Springer Netherlands





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Little is known about the composition, diversity, and geographical distribution of bacterial communities associated with medicinal plants in arid lands. To address this, a collection of 116 endophytic bacteria were isolated from wild populations of the herb Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch (licorice) in Xinyuan, Gongliu, and Tekesi of Xinjiang Province, China, and identified based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences. The endophytes were highly diverse, including 20 genera and 35 species. The number of distinct bacterial genera obtained from root tissues was higher (n = 14) compared to stem (n = 9) and leaf (n = 6) tissue. Geographically, the diversity of culturable endophytic genera was higher at the Tekesi (n = 14) and Xinyuan (n = 12) sites than the Gongliu site (n = 4), reflecting the extremely low organic carbon content, high salinity, and low nutrient status of Gongliu soils. The endophytic bacteria exhibited a number of plant growth-promoting activities ex situ, including diazotrophy, phosphate and potassium solubilization, siderophore production, auxin synthesis, and production of hydrolytic enzymes. Twelve endophytes were selected based on their ex situ plant growth-promoting activities for growth chamber assays to test for their ability to promote growth of G. uralensis F. and Triticum aestivum (wheat) plants. Several strains belonging to the genera Bacillus (n = 6) and Achromobacter (n = 1) stimulated total biomass production in both G. uralensis and T. aestivum under low-nutrient conditions. This work is the first report on the isolation and characterization of endophytes associated with G. uralensis F. in arid lands. The results demonstrate the broad diversity of endophytes associated with wild licorice and suggest that some Bacillus strains may be promising candidates for biofertilizers to promote enhanced survival and growth of licorice and other valuable crops in arid environments. © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature


Arid lands-environmental microbiology; Biodiversity; Endophytic bacteria; Glycyrrhiza uralensis; Plant growth-promoting bacteria


Life Sciences



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