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World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;30(10):2701-9. doi: 10.1007/s11274-014-1694-0. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Identification of bacteria associated with underground parts of Crocus sativus by 16S rRNA gene targeted metagenomic approach.

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School of Biotechnology, University of Jammu, Jammu, India.


Saffron (Crocus sativus L), an autumn-flowering perennial sterile plant, reproduces vegetatively by underground corms. Saffron has biannual corm-root cycle that makes it an interesting candidate to study microbial dynamics in its rhizosphere and cormosphere (area under influence of corm). Culture independent 16S rRNA gene metagenomic study of rhizosphere and cormosphere of Saffron during flowering stage revealed presence of 22 genera but none of the genus was common in all the three samples. Bulk soil bacterial community was represented by 13 genera with Acidobacteria being dominant. In rhizosphere, out of eight different genera identified, Pseudomonas was the most dominant genus. Cormosphere bacteria comprised of six different genera, dominated by the genus Pantoea. This study revealed that the bacterial composition of all the three samples is significantly different (P < 0.05) from each other. This is the first report on the identification of bacteria associated with rhizosphere, cormosphere and bulk soil of Saffron, using cultivation independent 16S rRNA gene targeted metagenomic approach.

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