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Microb Ecol. 2013 Jan;65(1):154-60. doi: 10.1007/s00248-012-0104-0. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Morphological and genetic characterization of endophytic bacteria isolated from roots of different maize genotypes.

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Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Paraná, C.P. 19031, 81531-900, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.


Maize is one of the most important crops worldwide, and in Brazil, the state of Paraná stands as its largest producer. The crop demands high inputs of N fertilizers, therefore all strategies aiming to optimize the grain production with lower inputs are very relevant. Endophytic bacteria have a high potential to increment maize grain yield by means of input via biological nitrogen fixation and/or plant growth promotion, in this last case increasing the absorption of water and nutrients by the plants. In this study, we established a collection of 217 endophytic bacteria, isolated from roots of four lineages and three hybrid genotypes of maize, and isolated in four different N-free culture media. Biochemical-comprising growth in different carbon sources, intrinsic tolerance to antibiotics, and biochemical tests for catalase, nitrate reductase, urease, and growth in N-free media in vitro-and genetic characterization by BOX-PCR revealed great variability among the isolates. Both commercial hybrids and homozygous lineages were broadly colonized by endophytes, and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed the presence of bacteria belonging to the genera Pantoea, Bacillus, Burkholderia, and Klebsiella. Qualitative differences in endophytic colonization were detected between lineages and hybrid genotypes.

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