Antagonistic and growth promotion potential of endophytic bacteria of mulberry (Morus spp.)

Pratheesh Kumar, Punathil Meethal;Ramesh, Sushma;Thipeswamy, Thipperudraiah;Sivaprasad, Venkadara

  • Received : 2015.08.28
  • Accepted : 2015.12.22
  • Published : 2015.12.31


Endophytes provide multifarious benefits such as promotion of plant growth and yield, suppression of phyto-pathogens, phosphate solubilising and fixation nitrogen. A study has been carried out to explore growth promotion and antifungal activities of endophytes of mulberry (Morus spp.). Endophytic bacteria were isolated from mulberry plants and studied their cultural, morphological characters, growth promotion as well as their antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia bataticola and Fusarium oxysporum , two mulberry root rot associated pathogens. Except two isolates, all bacteria were colourless and the colony size of eight isolates was small. The margin of five isolates was irregular and the consistency of three isolates was creamy, six isolates was slimy and one was mucoid. Texture of seven isolates was convex and others were flat. Eight isolates were gram positive and the rest Gram negative, five were cocci and others were bacilli (rod shaped). Four isolates were motile and all were catalase positive and only three isolates were oxidase positive. Spore staining was positive only for two isolates. The growth promotion study showed that there was significant difference in root length and seedling length. The antagonistic effect of the bacterial isolates was tested against R. bataticola showed significant (p <0.05) influence of the bacteria, days after inoculation and their interaction on the inhibition of fungal growth. The isolate En-7 completely inhibited the fungus followed by En-5 (66.67%). The bacterial isolates significantly (p <0.05) inhibited growth of F. oxysporum in PDA. The mean inhibition was higher (70.45%) in case of En-7 followed by En-8 (68.65%) and En-10 (66.44%). The study reveals that some endophytic bacteria associated with mulberry have growth promotion and antifungal activity and could be explored for promotion of mulberry growth and managing root rot disease.


endophytic bacteria;antagonistic activity;growth promotion;mulberry;root rot


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