© 2015, Sharma et al. Saffron (Crocus sativus) is a medicinally important plant. The Kashmir valley (J&K, India) emblematizes one of the major and quality saffron producing areas in the world. Nonetheless, the area has been experiencing a declining trend in the production of saffron during the last decade. Poor disease management is one of the major reasons for declining saffron production in the area. Endophytes are known to offer control against many diseases of host plant. During the present study, culturable bacterial endophytes were isolated from saffron plant, identified and assessed for plant growth promoting activities. Molecular and phylogenetic analysis grouped the fifty-four bacterial isolates into eleven different taxa, viz. Bacillus licheniformis, B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. humi, B. pumilus, Paenibacillus elgii, B. safensis, Brevibacillus sp., Pseudomonas putida, Staphylococcus hominis and Enterobacter cloacae. The results were also supported with the identification based on BIOLOG system. B. licheniformis was the dominant endophyte in both leaves and corms of saffron. 81 % isolates showed lipase activity, 57 % cellulase, 48 % protease, 38 % amylase, 33 % chitinase and 29 % showed pectinase activity. 24 % of the isolates were phosphate solublizers, 86 % showed siderophore production and 80 % phytohormone production potential. The present repository of well characterized bacterial endophytes of saffron, have plant growth promoting potential which can be explored further for their respective roles in the biology of the saffron plant.
Sharma, T., Kaul, S., & Dhar, M. K. (2015). Diversity of culturable bacterial endophytes of saffron in Kashmir, India. SpringerPlus, 4(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-1435-3