Authors:Raheem Shahzad, Muhammad Waqas, Abdul Latif Khan, Khadija Al-Hosni, Sang-Mo Kang, Chang-Woo Seo, and In-Jung Lee
Bacterial endophytes from the phyllosphere and rhizosphere have been used to produce bioactive metabolites and to promote plant growth. However, little is known about the endophytes residing in seeds. This study aimed to isolate and identify seed-borne bacterial endophytes from rice and elucidate their potential for phytohormone production and growth enhancement. The isolated endophytes included Micrococcus yunnanensis RWL-2, Micrococcus luteus RWL-3, Enterobacter soli RWL-4, Leclercia adecarboxylata RWL-5, Pantoea dispersa RWL-6, and Staphylococcus epidermidis RWL-7, which were identified using 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. These strains were analyzed for indoleacetic acid (IAA) production by using GC-MS and IAA was found in the range of 11.50 ± 0.77 μg ml−1 to 38.80 ± 1.35 μg ml−1. We also assessed the strains for plant growth promoting potential because these isolates were able to produce IAA in pure culture. Most of the growth attributes of rice plants (shoot and root length, fresh and dry biomass, and chlorophyll content) were significantly increased by bacterial endophytes compared to the controls. These results show that IAA producing bacterial endophytes can improve hostplant growth traits and can be used as bio-fertilizers.