Phyllosphere-associated Methylobacterium: a potential biostimulant for ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) cultivation
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Methanol, a by-product associated with plant metabolism, is a substrate for pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs (PPFMs) of phyllosphere. The symbiotic interaction of PPFMs has many desirable effects on plant growth and disease resistance. The present study investigated the potential of native PPFMs for mitigating biotic stress and plant growth promotion in ginger. PPFMs were isolated from ginger phyllosphere by leaf imprint technique and screened against major fungal phytopathogens of ginger viz. Macrophomina phaseolina, Sclerotium rolfsii, Pythium myriotylum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Fusarium oxysporum. Among the 60 PPFMs, IISRGPPFM13 was selected for its highly inhibitory activity against the target pathogens. The isolate was useful for mineral solubility, production of IAA, siderophores and hydrolytic enzymes like cellulase, pectinase, lipase, amylase and chitinase. On in planta experiments revealed that IISRGPPFM13 considerably increased plant growth parameters when the bacterium was applied as soil drenching cum foliar spraying. Methanol utilization potential of the isolate was confirmed by mxaF gene analysis where the sequence showing 95.51% identity towards Methylobacterium platani and M. iners. Further, 16S rRNA gene sequence showing 98.73% identity with M. komagatae 002-079 T (AB252201). This is the first report of its kind that a genus of Methylobacterium with biostimulant potential isolated from the phyllosphere of ginger.
KeywordsBiofertilizer Bioprotectant Biostimulant Ginger Methylobacterium Phyllosphere PPFMs
We acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Kerala Biotechnology Commission (KBC) and project No.055/PDF/KBC/2017/KSCSTE. We are thankful to our Director, ICAR - IISR, Kozhikode for providing all the facilities and Mr. K. Jayarajan, Technical officer, ICAR-IISR, Kozhikode for statistical analysis.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.
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